PV Sindhu failed in her bid to change the colour of the medal at the Badminton Asia Championships as she lost 21-13, 19-21, 16-21 to Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the semifinals in Manila. Her previous medal was also a bronze at Gimcheon in 2014. The Indian was in cruise mode after winning the first game easily and she even led in the second at 14-12. However, the Indian lost her focus at this juncture as she was penalised a point for delay. A rattled Sindhu argued with the
umpire. It appeared that Sindhu was not at fault. Sindhu was heard saying, “She was not ready sir, how can I serve? I was ready. ” But the umpire was in no mood to listen. Sindhu even called the tournament referee and told him that Yamaguchi was not ready to receive the serve. “Sir, I was ready. How can I serve when she is still shaking her leg and getting ready,” she told him. But the referee did not provide any relief and Sindhu was penalised a point.
Expectedly, Yamaguchi won the next point and soon caught up with the Indian at 15-15 before winning the game with some deft work at the net. Yamaguchi started the decider with a 3-0 lead and made it 11-7 at the mandatory change of courts. Though Sindhu tried hard and won some points, Yamaguchi clearly had the momentum. She made some splendid retrieves and played hard tosses to dominate the Indian.
“The umpire told me you are taking too much time. And even the opponent wasn’t ready at that point. But the umpire suddenly gave her the point. It was really unfair,” Sindhu told Badminton Asia, later.