Alas, 'The Comeback Kid' ran out of steam.
There was no fightback, let alone a Houdini act. PV Sindhu looked tired and jaded. A day after overcoming World No. 2 Shixian Wang to assure herself of a bronze medal at the BWF World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, the teenager from Hyderabad came up short against the utterly aggressive Carolina Marin of Spain on Saturday.
Predictably, she lost the semifinal encounter 17-21 15-21 in 47 minutes.
That said, Sindhu will bring home a second straight bronze medal from the biggest tournament in the sport. No Indian — from Prakash Padukone to P Gopichand, the current chief national coach, to Saina Nehwal — has won a medal at the worlds. Only 19, Sindhu has two already.
Sindhu played well in patches in the opening game, collecting six straight points to make it 8-8. But the dogged Spaniard fought back in her own inimitable way, combining aggression with precion to open up a seven-point lead. Sindhu did her best, but it was Marin who took the game 21-17 after the Indian netted a return.
The second game was much closer so to speak, with the players trading smashes, points and momentum. It was 13-13 when Marin decided to up the ante. Displaying her attacking game, the European champion made sure her tired opponent did some more running. Soon, she was up 19-14. A deft touch at the net gave her match point and she wasted no time.