The Indian celebrity’s performance faltered just before she could finish the game.

Six years, five meetings. For that duration, PV Sindhu has not triumphed against opponent and three-time world champion Carolina Marin. The twice-olympic medallist nearly defeated the Spaniard on Thursday in the 17th chapter of their rivalry, leading 8-3 and then 15-10 in the final. Even though the tough world No. 3 narrowed the deficit, Sindhu was only two points away from an improbable victory at 19-17. However, after an hour and eight minutes, Carolina emerged victorious, taking victory from the jaws of defeat with scores of 13-21, 21-11, and 22-20.

 PV Sindhu fails the Carolina Marin test.

The setback will be felt by Sindhu, who had the finest opportunity to defeat the Rio Olympics champion—who is renowned for having an unwavering determination to win. Sindhu used the better side of the court and played against the drift to pile up points and led 11–9 at the half after the opening two games were shared. Third-seeded Carolina, though, didn’t give up. After the change of ends, she continued to play from the middle of her court and attacked Sindhu’s body.

The idea of taking on the world No. 3 was unsettling to the Indian, who took home the $850,000 Singapore Badminton Open two years prior. Carolina, for her part, was skilled at psychologically intimidating Sindhu since the Indian had no countermovements to Carolina’s onslaught at the net. When Carolina returned, she did so with purpose—a quality that was absent from Sindhu’s armor at the end.

Similar to how he lost the Malaysia Masters final to Wang Zhi Yi of China last Sunday, Sindhu, an Indian player, aged 28, was unable to capitalize on a five-point lead in the decider to send Carolina to the Super 750 tournament’s quarterfinals.

“In general, the game was good. It was anybody’s game at twenty to one. In the third game, I was on a little disadvantageous side. My goal was to score as many points as possible. Sindhu, who will compete in the Indonesia Open the following week, stated, “It was just her day.”

Head coach Vimal Kumar of the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA), where Sindhu practices in Bengaluru, has long emphasized that Sindhu must defeat the top 4-5 players, including Carolina, in order to return to the pinnacle of the sport.

It’s time to get ready for the next competition. Almost here comes the Olympics. It’s critical that I maintain my composure, maintain my focus, and take lessons from these games,” said Sindhu, who has lost to Carolina six times in a row in 18 encounters.

Eighth-seeded HS Prannoy in men’s singles also lost in his second round match at Singapore Indoor Stadium, falling to Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto 13-21, 21-14, 15-21 in 78 minutes.

But in what was their first victory over the world No. 2 pairing in three encounters, Treesa Jolly and P Gayatri Gopichand pulled off one of the biggest upsets of their careers by defeating the defending All England and Asian champions Baek Ha Na and Lee So Hee. In less than 60 minutes, the Indian team defeated the second-seeded South Korean team 21-9, 14-21, 21-15 to advance to the quarterfinals.

On Friday, the pair will play another South Korean couple, Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong, who are ranked No. 6 in the world and past All England winners. The three-time medallists at the World Championship have never lost to Gayatri or Treesa.