Indian challenge ended at the Japan Super Series following the defeats of shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Ajay Jayaram in the women’s and men’s singles pre-quarterfinals, respectively in Tokyo on Thursday.

Sindhu, who broke into the top 20 ranking on Thursday, fought for 52 minutes before suffering a 21-10 12-21 18-21 loss to fourth seed Yeon Ju Bae at the Tokyo Yoyogi Gymnasium.

In men’s singles, Jayaram also failed to breach the defence of Wei Feng Chong and lost 16-21 16-21 to the Malaysian in a 35-minute battle.

There was not much to differentiate between Sindhu and world no. 11, Bae as the Indian matched her superior rival with her smashes. But the Korean proved to be a bit better at the nets as she had 18 net winners compared to Sindhu’s 17.

The Indian dominated initially as she opened up a 8-0 lead and even though Bae tried to bridge the gap, Sindhu pocketed the first game without much ado.

In the second game too, Sindhu was leading 3-0 initially but Bae reeled off five straight points to move ahead. Sindhu clawed back at 8-8 but the Korean broke off from 10-10 and held her fort to bounce back.

In the decider, Bae didn’t allow the Indian to come close as she opened a narrow lead and gradually crafted her way ahead. Sindhu did tried to challenge Bae and had brought the margin down to 17-19 but the higher ranked Korean had the last laugh.

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