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Sindhu loses in All England Open semis (Ld)

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Birmingham, March 20 (IANS) Reigning world champion P.V. Sindhu crashed out of the All England Open semi-finals, losing to Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong in straight games here on Saturday.

The Thai player, seeded below the Indian in the tournament, won 21-17, 21-9 in 45 minutes.

Chochuwong’s dominance was quite evident with the total points won by her — 42 to Sindhu’s 26 out of the 68 points played.

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Even though the world No. 7 Sindhu had a better head-to-head record (4-1), her 23-year-old world No. 11 put up a dominant show to tame her.

In the first game, both the players were level at 4-all. However, Chochuwong won two successive points to steer clear. Sindhu tried to catch up but the Thai player stretched the lead to four games, going up 9-5. From then on, Sindhu had to play catch-up.

Although the Indian shuttler did try to narrow the gap on three occasions — 15-13, 17-15 and 17-16, Chochuwong was too good to let her get ahead.

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The second set turned out to be one-sided. Sindhu did try to make a match of it at the start getting to 3-4 and be one point behind but Chochuwong won six consecutive points to widen the lead beyond the Indian’s reach.

While Chochuwong won six points in a row in the second game, the maximum consecutive points that Sindhu could win were just two. She could never dominate.

Sindhu may have been tired since she won a taxing three-gamer against Akane Yamaguchi late on Friday night.

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In Friday’s quarter-final, Sindhu beat Yamaguchi 16-21, 21-16, 21-19 in one hour and 16 minutes in the Super 1000 tournament.

Chochuwong, on the other hand, had it easy. She beat unseeded Beiwen Zhang of the USA 7-21, 21-13, 21-9 in just 38 minutes.

–IANS

kh/kr

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