BWF World Tour Finals: Sindhu loses to An Se Young in final

PV Sindhu has a favourable draw in the 2021 Indonesia Open. Shi Tang/Getty Images

World champion PV Sindhu's impressive run at the BWF World Tour Finals came to an end after losing to South Korea's An Se Young 16-21 12-21 in the final in Bali on Sunday.

The two-time Olympic medalist had no answer to the in-form world no. six Korean, who dictated terms from the word go. With this victory, An became the first ever South Korean woman to win the women's singles title at the tournament.

"It was a good game. An is a good player, so I don't think it was going to be easy. I was prepared for a good match," Sindhu said after the title clash.

"From the beginning, I should not have given her lead because in the end I came back covering few points. It is a bit sad but lot to learn.

"It has been a good three weeks in Bali. So lot of positives to take from here and it's time to go back, recover and get prepared for the world championships," added the 26-year-old.

On the day, An was brilliant in net play as well as with her baseline game, never allowing Sindhu to make a comeback into the match that lasted only 39 minutes.

The Indian had a forgettable start and was left to fight a tough battle after lagging 0-4.

Sindhu played a good rally to log her first points with a cross court return. She tried to narrow the gap by engaging her rival in rallies but An was quick on her feet and showed better anticipation to always keep her nose ahead.

The Korean doubled the lead to 16-8 after resumption. Sindhu tried to make up the deficit with a few good points but the Korean managed to collect eight game points.

Sindhu saved four game points by putting pressure on her opponent's backhand, while the Korean also sent one long. An, however, sealed the opening game with a body return.

"During the rally, the shot which I wanted to attack, I was making mistakes. It was going side outs and points which I had to take were going to net. It is part of the game and it happens at times," said Sindhu.

The second game started on an even keel with Sindhu managing to take a 5-4 lead for the first time but the agile Korean was quick to wrest back the lead after the Indian went long twice.

The Korean teen soon extended her lead to 10-6 as she was relentless in the rallies, sending everything back at Sindhu. A razor sharp return on her opponent's forehand gave her a 11-8 advantage at the break.

After the interval, An continued to control the proceedings, galloping to a 15-8 lead with another exceptional full dive return.

She then had 10 match points. Sindhu saved two before sending one to the net as the Korean celebrated.

An had come into the season-ending tournament with back-to-back titles in the Indonesia Masters and Indonesia Open and had also beaten Sindhu in the quarterfinals of the Denmark Open in October. Sindhu has now lost all three matches against An in her career.

This was Sindhu's third final appearance in the tournament. She had won the title in 2018 and remains the only Indian to achieve the feat. Sindhu will next be in action at the World Championships, which start on 12th December.