PV Sindhu falls to Wang Zhi Yi in Malaysia masters final

Indian badminton star PV Sindhu’s quest for a title continues as she lost to China’s Wang Zhi Yi in the final of the Malaysia Masters on Sunday.

| Updated: 26 May, 2024 5:27 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Indian badminton star PV Sindhu’s quest for a title continues as she lost to China’s Wang Zhi Yi in the final of the Malaysia Masters on Sunday. Despite a strong start, Sindhu was defeated in three games, with scores of 21-16, 5-21, and 16-21. This marked Sindhu’s first final of 2024, but the second-seeded Wang, ranked seventh in the world, proved a formidable opponent.

Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medalist, showed promise throughout the week and seemed poised for victory after a commanding performance in the first game. She effectively used down-the-line smashes and body shots to secure a 21-16 win. However, the momentum shifted dramatically in the second game, where Wang dominated, leaving Sindhu struggling to keep up. Wang’s relentless play resulted in a 5-21 loss for Sindhu, setting the stage for a decisive third game.

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In the final game, Sindhu initially looked strong, racing to an 11-3 lead. But Wang showcased her resilience and tactical prowess by staging a remarkable comeback. From trailing 11-3, Wang turned the game around, eventually winning 21-16. The match, which lasted an hour and 19 minutes, highlighted Sindhu’s struggle to maintain her lead and Wang’s impressive return game.

The loss extends Sindhu’s title drought and highlights the challenges she faces against top-tier opponents like Carolina Marin, Tai Tzu Ying, Chen Yu Fei, and Akane Yamaguchi, all of whom she will likely encounter at the upcoming Paris Olympics.

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Sindhu’s road to the final saw her defeat World No. 20 Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the semifinals with scores of 13-21, 21-16, and 21-12. She was the only Indian player to reach the advanced stages of the tournament, underscoring her status as a leading figure in Indian badminton.

Currently training at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru, Sindhu will aim to address the inconsistencies that plagued her final performance as she prepares for the Singapore Open Super 750 tournament, which begins on Tuesday. This upcoming event will provide another opportunity for Sindhu to end her title drought and regain her winning form.

As Sindhu looks ahead, the focus will be on maintaining her performance throughout matches and overcoming the mental and tactical hurdles that have prevented her from clinching titles in recent months. Her determination and skill remain undisputed, but translating these into consistent victories will be key as she eyes further success on the international stage.

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