Fourth seed Akane Yamaguchi defeated PV Sindhu in straight games 21-15, 21-16 to lift her maiden Indonesia Open title at Istora Senayan Stadium in Jakarta on Sunday. After a dream run in the Indonesia Open, defeating the likes of Nozomi Okuhara and Chun Yu Fei, Sindhu had to settle for just a silver medal in her first final of 2019.
After starting off brightly, Yamaguchi had taken a lead of 3-0 in the first game, but the Indian shuttler fought her way back to 8-11. The Japanese, however, didn’t stumble from there. She drew the first blood in the Super 1000 final as she changed gears efficiently towards the end by winning straight nine points.
Tough Luck Champ!👍
Despite sparks of brilliance, it wasn’t #PVSindhu‘s day, The top 🇮🇳shuttler went down 21-15; 21-16 in the finals to @AKAne_GUcchi66. Well played, Akane. #IndiaontheRise#badminton pic.twitter.com/24nD6wsNpW
— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) July 21, 2019
Not the result we were all hoping for but still its been a very good tournament overall for @Pvsindhu1 and a welcome return to form #IndonesiaOpen Runners up. Congrats and well played Akane Yamaguchi pic.twitter.com/dAFtgVYBrP
— Viren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) July 21, 2019
The second game had a similar story from the beginning with a close contest, where Sindhu first lost a few points and then battled to make it 4-4. Yamaguchi continued in the same pattern maintaining a healthy lead throughout the game, until she wrapped up the game and the glory with a five-point win.
Although Sindhu lead 10-4 in the head-to-head record before the match, the Japanese came on top in the final, after defeating the current World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in just over half an hour in the semifinals.
“She played really well and there were long rallies. I was leading in the first game by 2-3 points but I made a few mistakes and then she finished it off. If I could have won the first game, it could have been a bit different,” Sindhu told reporters after the final.
“In the second I gave her a huge lead like 5-6 points and was left to cover it. But overall, I think it was a good tournament for me and I hope I can take the confidence going forward. Next I am playing Japan and I hope to do well there.”
The last time the Indian lost to the Japanese was at the semifinals of the All England Championship last year. The defeat added to Sindhu’s list of runners-up finishes, which include silvers at the World Championships, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Thailand Open and India Open last year.