Reigning world champion P V Sindhu's hopes of securing India's first-ever Olympic gold in badminton came crashing down as she slumped to a straight-game defeat against world no.1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the women's singles semifinals here on Saturday.
The 26-year-old silver-medallist from the Rio Games, however, remained in the hunt for a bronze medal and will be competing against China's He Bing Jiao in the third place play-off at Musashino Forest Plaza on Sunday.
One of the most consistent players, who claimed medals in all big-ticket events in the last five years, Sindhu couldn't counter Tai Tzu's deception with her aggressive game, going down 18-21 12-21 here.
This is Sindhu's 14th loss to the Taiwanese second seed in 19 meetings, having also lost to her in the last three face-offs.
On Friday, Sindhu, seeded sixth, had beaten Japanese world no.5 Akane Yamaguchi in the quarterfinals.
Earlier, men's singles player B Sai Praneeth and the men's doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy had failed to qualify for the knockout stage.