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Sindhu signs off with runner-up finish at Malaysia Masters

Fifth seed Sindhu, a double Olympic medallist, last won the Singapore Open and Commonwealth Games in 2022 and finished runner-up at the Madrid Spain Masters in 2023.
Last Updated : 26 May 2024, 09:49 IST
Last Updated : 26 May 2024, 09:49 IST

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Kuala Lumpur: Star Indian shuttler PV Sindhu's wait for a much-needed title extended further as she faltered in the finishing line, going down in three games to world no. 7 Wang Zhi Yi of China in the summit clash here on Sunday.

Fifth seed Sindhu, a double Olympic medallist, last won the Singapore Open and Commonwealth Games in 2022 and finished runner-up at the Madrid Spain Masters in 2023.

The title here looked within her reach when world no. 15 Sindhu held a massive 11-3 lead in the decider after winning the opening game but the former world champion imploded after the final change of sides to go down 21-16 5-21 16-21 in a 79-minute women's singles final.

The title would have been an icing on the cake but her impressive run to the final will still give her a lot of confidence as Sindhu looks to put the finishing touches ahead of the Paris Olympics. It was her first final on BWF world tour after more than a year.

Sindhu, a double Olympic medallist, used a combination of poise and power to dominate the proceedings against the reigning Asian champion Wang for most part of the match but everything fell apart after the break in the decider as the USD 420,000 crown slipped out of her hands.

A silver and bronze medallist in the last two editions of the Olympics, Sindhu had lost to Wang at the Arctic Open last year but has defeated the Chinese twice in three meetings.

Interestingly, it was Wang against whom Sindhu had won the finals during her last BWF title at the Singapore Open.

On Sunday, Sindhu was leading 11-3 at the interval in the third game but she fell into a pool of errors after the change of sides as Wang won 18 off the next 23 points to seal the trophy in her name.

World No. 15 Sindhu, who will be eyeing her third Olympic medal at the Paris Games, has looked subdued since making a comeback from a knee injury early this season.

It has been a while since Sindhu has defeated big guns such as Carolina Marin, Tai Tzu Ying, Chen Yu Fei and Akane Yamaguchi -- whom she is expected to come across at the Paris Olympics.

But the 28-year-old from Hyderabad, who now trains at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru, looked in fine fettle this week but the loss against Wang from a winning position is something which she would have to address in the coming months.

Sindhu will next compete at the Singapore Open super 750 tournament starting on Tuesday.

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Published 26 May 2024, 09:49 IST

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