Sindhu loses in Madrid Spain Masters final

PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu in a file photo.

Two-time Olympic medallist P V Sindhu of India was completely routed by Indonesias Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in a lop-sided womens singles title clash at the Madrid Spain Masters Super 300 badminton tournament here on a mistake-filled Sunday.

Sindhu, who had slipped out of the elite top 10 after a series of early exits following her return from a five-month long injury lay-off, looked completely clueless during her 8-21 8-21 demolition at the hands of world number 12 Tunjung at Centro Deportivo Municipal Gallur.

Despite coming into the finals with a dominating 7-0 lead over the 23-year-old Indonesian, Sindhu looked a pale shadow of her old self as an opportunity to seal her first crown in eight months slipped out of her hands.

Nevertheless, the final finish will give her some confidence in a crucial year which will see the Paris Olympic qualification process start next month.

Sindhu, a former world champion, last won a title at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August 2022, while her last world tour crown came at the Singapore Open in July last year.

The 27-year-old from Hyderabad, who currently trains under Vidhi Chaudhary following the exit of Koreas Park Tae Sang, entered the final after coming into the tournament following a failed bid to defend her title at the Swiss Open.

During the week the Indian showed flashes of her brilliance as she didnt drop a game en route to the final.

However, on Sunday Sindhu couldnt match the tactical acumen and sharpness of Tunjung, a former junior world champion, who was part of the Indonesian womens team which won the 2022 Asia Team Championships. Tunjung tried to put the shuttle on Sindhus forehand corner and then draw her to the net. It worked as the Indonesian led 5-1 early on.

Sindhu tried to make a comeback, narrowing the lead to 5-7 but Tunjungs precision and angled returns helped her to move to 10-5 before she sealed a five-point lead at the mid-game interval.

While Sindhu made a series of misjudgement at the backline, Tunjung stayed a step ahead with her deceptive strokes and ability to produce winners.

In a jiffy, the Indonesian was 19-6 up with another faboulous shot and grabbed 12 game points with another body smash after charging at the net. Tunjung sealed the first game in just 11 minutes after Sindhu went to the net.

Sindhu was made to run around the court by Tunjung, who dictated the pace with her flurry of strokes.

The Indian had no answers to Tunjungs superior strokeplay as she lagged 1-6 in the second game. The one-way traffic continued as the Indonesian looked in sensational form with her smooth defensive skills.

Another wristy play at the net helped Tunjung to enter the break with a huge 11-3 lead. The Indonesian resumed with another excellent winner.

Tunjung peppered Sindhu with some jaw-dropping angled returns to march to 16-4 in a flash before moving to 19-6. The young Indonesian grabbed 12 championships point and sealed it in style when Sindhu committed another net error to record her maiden world tour title.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)