Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu’s title drought this year continued as she suffered a straight-game defeat against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the summit clash of the $350,000 Thailand Open World Tour Super 500 badminton tournament in Bangkok on Sunday.
The world champion took exactly 50 minutes to beat the second seed Sindhu 15-21, 18-21 and take her head-to-head record to 6-5.
World number 3 Sindhu showed glimpses of her best against world number 8 Okuhara, who besides the initial part of the second game, looked in complete control over the proceedings. Okuhara took no time to get her grip on the match by taking a 6-2 lead in the opening game.
Overall, out of the 75 points played, Okuhara won 42 while Sindhu clinched 33. Some unforced errors and wrong judgements from the Indian allowed the Japanese to pocket five straight points to alter the scoreline to 7-6 in her favour.
The last time the duo met at the All England Championships earlier this year, it was Sindhu who prevailed over the Japanese.
Only three Indians, Saina Nehwal (2012), Kidambi Srikanth (2013) and B Sai Praneeth (2017) have been able to win the Thailand Open so far.