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Tokyo 2020: Indian Fans Left Heartbroken as Badminton Star PV Sindhu Loses to Tai Tzu-Ying in Semis

India's P.V. Sindhu returns the ball to Vietnam's Vu Thi Trang during their women's single badminton match at 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018
© AP Photo / Bernat Armangue

It was a disastrous Saturday for the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Olympics as they suffered one setback after another. While top-ranked boxer Amit Panghal and archer Atanu Das disappointed in the morning, it was shuttler P.V. Sindhu's defeat in the evening that broke a billion hearts.

Indian fans took to Twitter to say how upset they were at badminton World Champion P.V. Sindhu's loss to Taiwan's Tai Tzu-Ying in the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday, with some even praying for her triumph in the bronze medal match on Sunday.

For Indian supporters, there has been no bigger heartbreak at the Olympics than the Rio Games silver medalist's exit, with many fans displaying their state of mind by putting up broken heart images on social media.

Sindhu entered the match in prime form, winning all her matches before the last 4 stage in Tokyo in straight sets.

Her demolition of home favourite Akane Yamaguchi in the quarterfinals on Friday raised hopes that Sindhu could succeed in challenging the World No. 1, her perennial nemesis, who has completely dominated the Indian in the past.

The Taiwanese had a 13-5 advantage over Sindhu in their head-to-head clashes before their semifinal.

Sindhu, who won the World Championships in 2019, seemed to have developed a mental block against her rival as she failed to take her chances in the opening game, squandering an early lead and handing the advantage back to Tzu-Ying, who eventually won it 21-18 in 21 minutes.

The setback of losing the first game was enormous for Sindhu as she went down quickly in the second game, dropping it 12-21 in just 19 minutes.  

In the end, it turned out to be a meek display from Sindhu as she was defeated 21-18, 21-12 in what was a great display of attacking badminton by Tzu-Ying.

After the match, the Indian badminton player acknowledged that winning the first game was crucial for her and even though she had her opportunities, she failed to grab them.

"I should have taken the first game, that's what I felt. It's not easy, but it was crucial. It's all in the game and I have to take it in a positive way. If I had won the first game, it would have been different", Sindhu said after her defeat.

"Even in the second game, from the start I was fighting back and getting a couple of points, but she didn't even make any unforced errors. At the end of the day it is the semifinal and everyone will be at their top level. It's a bit sad that I am not on the winning side, but I have one more match to go so I need to keep my tempo going, recover soon and come back tomorrow", she added.

Sindhu, though, will have a chance at redemption as she will now face China's He Bingjiao in the bronze medal match on Sunday.

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