Top Indian shuttler P V Sindhu suffered yet another final loss, going down against World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in a pulsating women’s singles summit clash of the Dubai Super Series Final.
In the prestigious season-ending tournament finale, Sindhu played her heart out before losing 21-15 12-21 19-21 to Yamaguchi in an energy-sapping summit clash that lasted an hour and 31 minutes.
The 22-year-old came agonisingly close to clinching the title before finishing runner-up once again in her third major tournament, following last year’s Rio Olympics and this year’s Glasgow World Championship.
In scenes similar to the World Championship final in Glasgow in August, the summit clash here went down to the wire as the duo engaged in a battle of attrition and nerves.
Playing her fourth final of the season, Sindhu logged the first point with a magnificent down the line smash. However, a couple of unforced errors and a wrong judgment at the baseline allowed Yamaguchi to make it 3-2.
Sindhu again eked out a 8-6 lead with a return on her rival’s forehand. Yamaguchi too missed the line again as the Indian led 9-7. A backhand tap near the net gave another point to Sindhu, who entered the interval with a three-point advantage after Yamaguchi sent another to the net.
Sindhu missed the line again and then Yamaguchi pushed the shuttle away at the back as the lead exchanged hands again.
A cross court return on the line earned Sindhu a point and she draw level when Yamaguchi’s miscued drop shot went to the net. Sindhu produced a precise cross court smash but Yamaguchi unleashed a prompt return to serve to move to 19-18.