Shuttler P.V. Sindhu loses to Xuerui in Denmark Open final

Odense: Giant-killer P.V. Sindhu of India faltered against Olympic badminton champion Li Xuerui of China to lose in the women's singles final of the $650,000 Denmark Open Superseries Premier in Odense on Sunday.

P.V Sindhu. Pic/AFP

Double World Championships bronze medallist Sindhu lost to title holder and former World No.1 Xuerui 19-21, 12-21 in 47 minutes at the Odense Sports Park to bring an end to a glorious run from the Hyderabadi.

With this win, fourth seed Xuerui not only took a 3-2 lead in career meetings against world No.13 Sindhu but also pocketed her 13th Superseries title.

Sindhu had earlier registered upsetting wins over third seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, sixth seed Yihan Wang of China and two-time reigning world champion Carolina Marin of Spain in her previous three matches.

But on Sunday, 20-year-old Sindhu was up against an opponent who was too strong to give her the first Superseries title.

The 24-year-old Chinese opened up a 5-2 lead but Sindhu came out fighting and equalised with three back-to-back points.

Till 8-8, it was a see-saw battle but the Hyderabadi showed why she has earned a big reputation of big surprising performance. Sindhu, coached by Pullella Gopichand, raced to a 15-10 lead after earning eight consecutive points.

But the game saw a ferocious shift in momentum as Xuerui unleashed her delectable drop shots and crisp cross-court smashes to good effects. With this she equalised at 17-point mark and later pocketed the first game 21-19.

Following the performance, it seemed world No.6 Xuerui had won the mental game. And as soon as the second game started, she was in complete control, playing with ease. The double World Championships silver medallist blitzed her way to a 6-1 lead that swelled to 13-4 at one stage.

Even though Sindhu tried to force her way back, it was not enough. She bagged four points on the trot but that was hardly an effort that rattled the fourth seed Xuerui, who utilised her experience to the maximum by controlling the pace of the game.

Xuerui pocketed the second game 21-12 and the match that saw her clinch the biggest singles title of the year.

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