Two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu's journey came to an end at the Denmark Open Super 750 tournament on October 21 after she went down to Carolina Marin in a thrilling three-set battle.
The semifinal saw everything from long rallies to heated verbal exchanges between the players. There were even a couple of yellow cards that were shown by the referee.
After having a bad start to the year with several early exits, the Asian Games in Hangzhou marked a return to some sort of form for the shuttler from Hyderabad.
Sindhu managed to reach the quarterfinals in the individual event at the Asian Games, and she followed that up with a semi-final appearance at the Arctic Open.
Sindhu has seen a slight rise in her form over the last few weeks, and her performance throughout the tournament in Denmark is a testament to that.
A closer look at the semifinal encounter
The match kicked off with both players displaying remarkable precision in their strokes. Sindhu and Marin showcased a nearly equal share of outstanding shots but also made a few unforced errors early on.
At the 11-point interval, Sindhu narrowly led 11-10, and the contest remained tight, with no one gaining more than a two-point advantage. The score later stood at 19-18 in favor of Marin, who then went on to clinch the first game with two consecutive points.
Marin was seen shouting aggressively from the moment she secured her first point, something that has been a characteristic of her play. This continued throughout the game. The Spaniard was finally given a couple of warnings at the end of the first game for her loud celebrations.
The second game began with Sindhu taking an early lead. She completely outplayed Marin in the opening half, leading 10-3 and eventually 11-5 at the mid-game interval.
However, after the break, Marin found her footing once again and made it 10-11. Sindhu played some brilliant rallies to take another 4-point lead, leading 16-12. This tussle between the two athletes continued till the end of the game, when the Indian shuttler finally managed to wrap things up, winning the game 21-19.
The third and final game was where things got a little heated. Despite several instances where the two athletes have spoken about their good friendship, the old rivalry seemed to generate a few sparks.
In one instance, the umpire warned Sindhu to serve quicker without wasting time. Sindhu was heard saying:
“You allowed her to shout, so you ask her, and then I will be ready.”
Following this incident, the shuttle fell on Sindhu’s court, but Marin almost crossed over, reaching out to take the shuttle. This led to a verbal exchange between the two players, and the umpire called them and gave them a yellow card each for their misconduct.
Despite all the drama, the third game was rather one-sided, as the arguments seemed to have rattled the Indian shuttler. Marin took a 14-3 lead and eventually sealed the game 21-7 and the match along with it. The final score of the match read 18-21, 21-19, 7-21 in Marin’s favor.
Sindhu’s performances at the Denmark Open and the Arctic Open may seem like good signs.
However, apart from this match against Marin, the Indian shuttler hasn't come across the leading names in women's singles badminton at the moment. The way she fell apart in the third game against Marin should worry the Indian fans.
They would hope that the two-time Olympic medalist can produce an even more improved performance at the French Open next week.
Denmark Open 2023: Results at the End of Day Five (Indians Only)
PV Sindhu (India) lost to Carolina Marin (Spain) 18-21, 21-19, 7-21