Sreeja Akula of India lost a heartbreaking match 3-4 to Australia’s Yangzi Liu in the bronze medal play-off at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Sreeja lost the match 11-3, 6-11, 2-11, 11-7, 13-15, 11-9, and 7-11 despite staging numerous comebacks over the course of more than an hour.
The paddler from Hyderabad made a solid start against Liu, who shown some nervousness, and the former capitalized on that to quickly win the first game 11-3.
With a more aggressive attitude, the Australian recovered and won the second game 11-6 to tie the score.
After making a comeback in the second game, Liu was encouraged to keep up her momentum and prevent the Indian from settling into a pattern, which helped her win the third game 11-2.
But Sreeja showed the beginnings of her never-say-die mentality and won the fourth game 11-7 with the help of her astute forehand strokes.
At 2-2 in the match, Liu once more took the lead with a close game to win it 15-13 in the fifth game.
The sixth game ended up being a mental match between the two players, but Sreeja proved she had class by winning 11-9 after briefly falling behind 1-7.
Similar circumstances occurred in the decisive set, which Sreeja won 5-8 despite trailing 1-6.
However, the Australian emerged victorious and took home the bronze.