P V Sindhu’s quest for her maiden title of 2019 ended in disappointment as she went down 15-21, 16-21 to Japanese 4th seed Akane Yamaguchi in Jakarta, last evening. Though Sindhu showed some early promise leading the 1st set at the mid-break, Yamaguchi soon upped the ante with a series of scorching forehand smashes to turn the match into her favour.
This is only the 5th defeat for Sindhu in 15 meetings against Yamaguchi but her continuing poor form in the finals of major tournaments remains a major worry for the ace shuttler.
The first game was a close affair with the two players going toe to toe for much of it. After 8-8, however, it was the Hyderabadi shuttler who took three consecutive points as Yamaguchi missed her lines and the world no. 5 ranked Indian went into the first game interval with a 11-8 lead.
Yamaguchi then fought back and the game was level until 14-14. The Japanese went on the offensive again and raced to an 18-14 lead. She eventually extended the streak to nine striaght points and won the game 21-15 in 21 minutes.
This was Sindhu’s first final of 2019. She has had two semi-final finishes this year — at the India Open in March, the Singapore Open in April. She will next be seen at the Japan Open in July and the Thailand Open in August in the lead up to the BWF World Championships.