Basel: Top Indian shuttlers P V Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap suffered heartbreaking defeats in the semifinals, while Saina Nehwal was knocked out at the last-eight stage as India`s campaign in the USD 125,000 Swiss Grand Prix Gold tournament came to an end, here on Saturday.
World championship bronze medallist, Sindhu, who had stunned recently-crowned All England Champion Shixian Wang in the quarterfinals, could not tame the fast emerging Chinese shuttler Sun Yu in the semifinals.
The 18-year-old Indian squandered a first game advantage to go down 21-18 12-21 19-21 to Sun in a 79-minute women`s singles match. This is Sindhu`s third loss to Sun as she had last lost to the Chinese in the All England recently. Kashyap, seeded third, too slumped to a 17-21 11-21 loss to world number 27 China`s Houwei Tian in a 42-minute men`s singles match. Kashyap had booked the semifinal berth with a hard-fought 21-15 21-23 21-18 win over sixth seed Tien Chen Chou of Chinese Taipei last night.
However, Olympic bronze medallist Saina had a tough time dealing with the world number three Yihan Wang as she slipped to a 17-21 12-21, her seventh defeat to the Chinese, in a 38-minute match.
In the semifinal match, Sindhu was leading 8-4 early on but she allowed Sun to open up a slender 12-10 lead midway. However, a five-point burst helped the Indian to surge ahead and go one-up. Sun, however, regrouped herself quickly and didn`t allow Sindhu to apply her tactics and lead right from the start to slowly and steadily take the game away from the Indian and comeback into the contest.
In the decider, Sun continued her domination and led 11-6 at the interval. Sindhu grabbed three points on the trot to narrow the gap but the Chinese maintained her distance and reached 19-14.
Sindhu gave a gallant fight and repaired the deficit to move to 19-20 but Sun had the last laugh in the end.
In men's singles, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Kashyap lagged right from the start as Tian maintained his early 3-0 lead to 8-5 and though the Indian clawed his way back with three points, the Chinese broke off from 13-13 and kept his nose ahead to pocket the opening game.
In the second game, Tien was more dominating as he surged to a 7-3 lead early on and kept increasing the gap as Kashyap's game crumbled.
Last night, Sindhu had stunned two-time All England champion Shixian to breeze into the semifinals.
The Hyderabadi shuttler played a dominating game to assert her supremacy over Shixian with a 21-17 21-15 win in a 45-minute duel. It was Sindhu's third win over Shixian in as many matches.
Last year, she had humbled the Chinese at the World Championship in the quarterfinals.
World number 9 Sindhu produced a beautifully controlled and carefully-paced game to keep Shixian at bay through out the quarterfinal match. The third seed Chinese did fight hard but Sindhu was always on guard and marched ahead everytime Shixian tried to claw her way back.
In the first game, Sindhu broke off at 12-12 and in the second game, the Indian raced away to 16-15 lead. Sindhu then reeled off five straight points to seal her place in the semifinals against Sun.
Sixth seed Saina, however, who will turn 24 on Monday, could not gift herself a birthday gift as top seed Yihan once again stamped her authority on the Indian.
In the men's singles quarterfinals, Kashyap ran away with the opening game in a flash but Tien came back strongly in the next as the Indian couldn't press home the slender 7-4, 16-14 advantages.
However, in the decider, Kashyap wriggled out from an initial 3-5 disadvantage and held his fort till the end to enter his first semifinal of 2014.