India’s double Olympic medallist P. V. Sindhu bowed out of the Denmark Open on Friday after losing in straight games to World No. 8 An Seyoung in the women’s singles quarterfinals here.
Playing her first tournament since winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in August, Sindhu couldn’t match her fifth seeded young Korean rival, going down 11-21 12-21 in 36 minutes. Sindhu had also lost to An Seyoung in straight games the last time they clashed here two years ago in their only career meeting.
The reigning world champion, who had taken a break to rejuvenate after a hectic Olympics campaign, couldn’t find a way across the attacking game of the Korean, who was always a step ahead during the contest.
Denmark Open: Sindhu enters quarterfinals; Srikanth goes down to Kento Momota
An Seyoung made a superb start and took just six minutes to grab a massive seven-point lead at the break with Sindhu unable to find a crack in the Korean’s game. The Indian tried to control the net but committed few unforced errors with the Korean showing great athleticism to return everything thrown at her.
The Korean dominated the forecourt and played some exceptional shots, including a few diving forehand returns, to lead 16-8. In the end, Sindhu netted to give 10 game points to the Korean, who sealed the opening game when the Indian erred again.
Sindhu tried to change her tactics by playing high lifts but she was not disciplined enough and after trailing 7-8 at one stage, she slipped to 8-11 at the break. It was a one-way traffic after the interval as An Seyoung jumped to 20-10 in a jiffy. Sindhu saved two match points before committing another error.
In men’s singles, Sameer Verma retired from his quarterfinals after losing the first game 17-21 against Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto, a bronze winner at the 2014 World Championships.
Verma had notched up a stunning straight-game win over world no.3 Anders Antonsen to storm into the quarterfinals on Thursday night.
Coming into the match with a dismal 1-5 head-to-head count, Sameer showed great athleticism and tactical acumen to down Antonsen, a silver medallist at the 2019 World Championships.
Denmark Open: Lakshya sails into second round, Saina sinks
World No 28 Sameer, who had qualified for the World Tour Finals in 2018 after winning three titles, produced a sensational performance to outwit local hero Antonsen 21-14 21-18 in a 50-minute men’s singles battle.
It was also curtains for Lakshya Sen at the Super 1000 tournament here. It proved to be too daunting a task for him to match Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen as he thrashed the Indian 21-15 21-7 in a lop-sided second-round contest.