What's the story?
In case you didn't know...
The All England Open Badminton Championships is a Super 1000 event of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour. It is considered the most prestigious annual badminton tournament after the World Championships and the BWF World Tour Finals.
Although almost all the Indian badminton stars participated in the tournament, it was only Sindhu who made it through to the quarterfinals. In a major setback to the Tokyo Olympics 2020 qualification hopes of Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth, they were knocked out in the 1st round itself.
Earlier in the tournament, Sindhu had defeated Beiwen Zhang of USA 21-14, 21-17 in the 1st round and Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea 21-19, 21-15 in the 2nd round to make it through to the quarter-finals in the women's singles event.
Heart of the matter
PV Sindhu, the 2019 World Champion, was defeated by Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the quarterfinals of the All England Open Badminton Championships 2020. This defeat brought an end to the Indian challenge at the tournament as Sindhu was the only surviving Indian till the quarter-final stage.
Sindhu, the 6th seed at the tournament, lost to the 4th seeded Okuhara 21-12, 15-21, 13-21 in a rematch of the 2019 World Championship final.
Sindhu started aggressively by winning the first 3 points of the 1st game. She maintained this advantage to go into the mid-game interval with an 11-6 lead. Sindhu was at her aggressive best post the interval and consolidated the lead to close the 1st game 21-12 in her favor.
Okuhara changed her tactics at the beginning of the 2nd game, going for short flat serves rather than the deep high serves she was using in the 1st game. This seemed to pay dividends as she jumped to an early 7-3 lead and maintained it to go into the interval with an 11-8 advantage. She continued with her attacking play post the interval and reached game points at 20-12. Although Sindhu managed to save 3 game points, it was too little too late, as she lost the game 15-21.
Sindhu seemed to be dejected at the loss of the 2nd game and her attacks seemed to have lost the sting in the 3rd game. Okuhara took full advantage of this to establish a 7-2 lead and went into the mid-game interval 11-5 ahead. The game followed a similar pattern post the interval as Sindhu was error-prone and not able to finish the points. Okuhara closed out the match on her first match point with the final scoreline reading 12-21, 21-15, 21-13 in her favor.
With Sindhu almost guaranteed a spot at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, she will be looking at the upcoming tournaments on the BWF World Tour to improve her rankings that would help in getting a favorable draw at the quadrennial sporting extravaganza.
Also Checkout: Badminton Schedule 2020Published 13 Mar 2020, 22:12 IST