Thai ends Sindhu’s run

Thai ends Sindhu’s run

India's rising shuttler P V Sindhu on Saturday settled for a bronze medal at the World Championships after suffering a straight-game defeat against...

Guangzhou (PTI): India's rising shuttler P V Sindhu on Saturday settled for a bronze medal at the World Championships after suffering a straight-game defeat against world number three Ratchanok Inthanon in the semifinals of the prestigious event here.

World number 12 Sindhu, playing in her maiden World Championships, had notched up stunning victories against two Chinese players in the run-up to the semifinals but she failed to out it cross Ratchanok, going down 10-21, 13-21 in a 36-minute women's singles match. Meanwhile, defending world and Olympic champion Lin Dan is through to the final of the badminton world championships in Guangzhou, China after a shaky start against a fired-up underdog.

The 29-year-old Chinese superstar, widely regarded as badminton's best ever player, took on Vietnam's Nguyen Tien Minh, seeded seventh. Dancing light-footed around the court, the agile Vietnamese player, 30, won applause from the partisan crowd with a cheeky over-the-shoulder return as Lin took his time to find his feet in the first game. Super Dan, who is returning to badminton after almost a year on the sidelines to spend time with his family, slipped behind after misjudging Nguyen's early returns.

Nguyen had the tournament of his life and by reaching the semi-finals has already become the first Vietnamese player ever to get a medal at the world championships. But Lin began to take control as the first game went on, injecting pace and attacking play with jump smashes and unreachable shots down the line, taking it 21-17. The second game saw the tenacious Vietnamese player, who has never beaten Lin, refuse to give up, giving his all in punchy rallies and forcing Lin to dive around the court.

Though his game was error-prone, Lin outpowered and outmaneuvered Nguyen to take the second 21-15. Earlier, Ratchanok mixed her strokes well and moved smoothly across the court. Sindhu, on the other hand, committed too many unforced errors allowing her opponent to move into the interval at 11-4 in the opening game.

Ratchanok used her deceptive shots to flummox Sindhu, who struggled in anticipation. The Indian failed to gauge the Thai girl's game and also ended up hitting the shuttle wide and out to allow Ratchanok to move to 19-10. Ratchanok then moved to a 10-point lead with a straight baseline smash and with Sindhu hitting out again, the Thai had the upper-hand after the opening game.

Ratchanok, 18, is the first shuttler from her country to be assured of a silver at the World Championship. The Thailand girl won the India Open in New Delhi and also the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold this year.

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