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Indonesia Masters: Sindhu, Srikanth lose in semis

PV Sindhu knows Tokyo 2021 is a world away from Rio 2016. “Now, everyone expects a medal from me," she says. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

PV Sindhu's semifinals struggles continued as she suffered a dispiriting 13-21, 9-21 loss to top-seeded Akane Yamaguchi at the Indonesia Masters in Bali on Saturday.

A few hours later, Kidambi Srikanth was eased aside in straight games, 21-14, 21-9, in the men's semifinals by Anders Antonsen.

Sindhu had defeated Yamaguchi in straight games in their previous meeting this year in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics but Japan's Yamaguchi has been in scintillating form of late.

Yamaguchi got off to fast starts in both the games and opened up big leads and Sindhu never managed to cut down the deficit once she trailed in both the games.

Sindhu has been remarkably consistent for most of this year. She has now reached the semis at four of the last five tournaments she has taken part in, she made the quarters in the fifth.

However, she has exited at the last four stage in all those tournaments. She won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year and will be the defending champion at the World Championships next month.

Srikanth, meanwhile was able to hold on Antonsen initially, levelling the scores at 3-3, 4-4, 5-5 before falling behind. Srikanth made another fine recovery in the first game, narrowing down the gap to 12-11 but eventually lost steam.

In the second game, Srikanth started well. The score was tied at 4-4 before Antonsen went on a charge, winning eight straight points to zoom to 12-4. The Indian could not recover from there while Antonsen never let his guard down to win the second game and the match in 41 minutes.