PV Sindhu's hopes of becoming the first Indian badminton player to win an Olympic gold medal came to a screeching halt on Saturday as the Hyderabad shuttler was beaten in straight games by Tai Tzu-ying in the women's singles semi-final clash in Tokyo.
Sindhu, who had won silver in the Rio Games five years ago after losing to Carolina Marin in the final, put up a spirited display early on in her 19th meeting with the player from Taiwan as she led 11-8 at the break in Game 1. Tzu-ying, who entered the contest with a superior head-to-head advantage, was a different beast thereafter as she took the first game a 21-18. Tzu-ying was even more unstoppable in the second game as the world No 1 confirmed her maiden Olympic medal by taking the second game 21-12.
Tzu-ying faces China's Chen Yufei in the gold medal match while Sindhu faces another Chinese He Bing Jiao in the bronze medal playoff. Both games will take place on 1 August at Tokyo's Musashino Forest Sports Plaza.
Here we take a look at some of the reactions pouring in after Sindhu's loss to Tzu-ying in the semi-final:
💔💔 for Pooja Rani and Sindhu ! We are going to come back stronger !
" taapsee pannu (@taapsee) July 31, 2021
PV Sindhu is one of the best athletes we have produced ever. " Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) July 31, 2021
In eyes of experts and lay men like me too, Sindhu was playing her best! Honestly She looked brilliant in all departments. Then came TTY! But delightful #badminton from both
" Joydeep Karmakar OLY (@Joydeep709) July 31, 2021
Exhilarating performance by world no.1 Tai Tzu " delectable touch, great deception in strokeplay " to beat @Pvsindhu1. Tai had beaten Sindhu thrice in succession leading up to this match. Bronze medal hope for India still alive " Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) July 31, 2021
Sindhu was excellent till late in the first set but Tai was so tactically astute and magical at the net. Hardly allowed Sindhu the power game that is her forte. Well, hopefully, a medal of a different colour now.
" Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) July 31, 2021
When the history of 75 years of post independence Indian sport is written, #PVSindhu will be seen as our greatest woman athlete. Yes, a bit heartbroken @Pvsindhu1 but you have given it your best shot. So thank you: Olympic silver and World Cup winner! Now for a podium finish!👍 " Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) July 31, 2021