GUANGZHOU: India’s rising shuttler PV Sindhu settled for a bronze medal at the World Championships after suffering a straight-game defeat against world number three Ratchanok Inthanon in the semifinals of the prestigious event on Saturday.
World number 12 Sindhu, playing in her maiden World Championships, had notched up stunning victories against two Chinese players in the run-up to the semifinals but she failed to out it cross Ratchanok, going down 10-21, 13-21 in a 36-minute women’s singles match.
Ratchanok mixed her strokes well and moved smoothly across the court. Sindhu, on the other hand, committed too many unforced errors allowing her opponent to move into the interval at 11-4 in the opening game.
Ratchanok used her deceptive shots to flummox Sindhu, who struggled in anticipation. The Indian failed to gauge the Thai girl’s game and also ended up hitting the shuttle wide and out to allow Ratchanok to move to 19-10.
Ratchanok then moved to a 10-point lead with a straight baseline smash and with Sindhu hitting out again, the Thai had the upper-hand after the opening game.
Sindhu struggled with her strokes in the second game too as her returns were buried into the net and she also made some judgemental errors as Ratchanok opened up a 8-1 lead early on.
A few points at the net saw Sindhu make it 5-10 but another unforced error by the Indian took Ratchanok to 11-5 at the break.
Ratchanok was accurate and played some sensational strokes to leave Sindhu without any answer. Sindhu tried to match Ratchanok in the rallies but the Thai girl was always a step ahead with her wide array of strokes.
Leading 19-12, Ratchanok earned eight match points when Sindhu’s shuttle went out again. Sindhu saved one match point with a smash but Ratchanok soon grabbed the last point with a jump smash which caught Sindhu off-guard.
Ratchanok, 18, is the first shuttler from her country to be assured of a silver at the World Championship.
The Thailand girl won the India Open in New Delhi and also the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold this year. She is also a three-time world junior championship gold-medallist. She is also a silver-medallist from the 2010 Asian Games.