PV Sindhu's title defence at the BWF World Championships 2021 came to an end in the quarter-finals at the Carolina Marin Stadium in Huelva, where she was defeated by World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying. The top-seeded Tai Tzu overpowered Sindhu 21-17 21-13 in a 42-minute match on Friday.

Sindhu struggled to match Tai Tzu's speed, court coverage and drop shots, despite her incredible cross-court smashes.

It was Sindhu's fifth straight defeat against Tai Tzu Ying, who extended her head-to-head record against the Indian shutter to 15-5. Notably, Sindhu had lost in the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics against a familiar rival, who had already secured her first medal at the world championships.

PV Sindhu lost the historic sixth medal in the women's singles category at the World Championships. The Indian shuttler and China's Zhang Ning each have five medals. Sindhu arrived in Tokyo as the reigning world champion, having won the title for the first time in her career in Basel in 2019.

Sindhu had been the tournament's first player to advance to the quarter-finals in each of her first seven appearances. She had previously won the bronze medal in 2013 and 2014, as well as the silver medal in 2017 and 2018, before finally claiming the coveted gold medal in 2019.

After the great loss, Sindhu finishes a stellar year with a 29-14 record. Finishing third in the Tokyo Olympics, Sindhu made history by becoming the first Indian woman to win multiple individual medals. The ace shuttler had advanced to the World Tour Finals but had missed out on another world medal.

Meanwhile, Indian star shuttler Kidambi Srikanth defeated Dutch badminton player Mark Caljouw 21-8, 21-7 to advance to the semi-finals and assured a medal win in his first at the championships.

Srikanth is the third Indian to win a medal in men's singles at the BWF World Championships, following Prakash Padukone and B Sai Praneeth.

In 1983, Prakash Padukone claimed a bronze medal in the World Championships, making him India's first-ever medalist. After years of waiting, Sai Praneeth won bronze in 2019 and became the second Indian male shuttler to do so. 

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