PV Sindhu and Lakshya Sen made quarterfinal exits in their respective singles events, ending India’s challenge in the Indonesia Open Super Series 500 tournament in Jakarta on Friday.
Sen was first to be eliminated as the 20-year-old went down fighting after forcing a decider against his higher-seeded Chinese Taipei rival Chou Tien Chen 21-16, 12-21, 21-14. India’s last hope then rested on Sindhu but the former world champion went down without a fight to her old foe Ratchanok Intanon 12-21, 10-21 in a match lasting a little over half an hour.
The Thai player was at her dominating best and looked at ease with both attacks and defence and the Indian suffered her fifth straight loss against her Thai rival. After pocketing the first game easily, Intanon looked even stronger in the second and raced to a 10-point lead before sealing it in 33 minutes to improve her head-to-head against Sindhu to 9-4.
Sindhu, who made a semifinal exit in the Thailand Open last month, had earned a hard-fought victory over Gregoria Mariska Tunjung to enter the quarterfinals.
Earlier, World Championships bronze medalist Sen bounced back from behind to level the second game but the third-seed was superior in the decider. This was Sen’s second straight defeat against Chou in less than a month. Sen lost to his Chinese Taipei rival 19-21, 21-13, 17-21 during the group stage of the Thomas Cup, before turning it around to script a historic triumph.
The 2018 Asian Games silver medallist, who had defeated the Indian in their only previous meeting, put up a power-packed show in the decider and mounted early pressure on the 20-year-old. Sen was engaged in some superb rallies towards the end and even saved two match points but his valiant effort was not good enough as the experienced 32-year-old maintained his lead to make it a 2-0 in head-to-head against the Indian.