China Open: Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy suffer defeat

Saina Nehwal and B. Sai Praneeth
Saina Nehwal and B. Sai Praneeth

In what may come as a major blow to Indian fans, star shuttler Saina Nehwal knocked out of the China Open Superseries Premier after going down in straight games at the hands of fifth-seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan here on Thursday.

The London Olympic bronze-medallist, who has been performing exceedingly well from last few weeks, failed to stick to her good form and slumped to a shocking 18-21, 11-21 defeat against Yamaguchi in a second-round clash that lasted 37 minutes.

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Saina got off to a positive start to take off an early 11-9 lead in the first game, only to see her Japanese opponent bounce back and snatch the lead to take the first game 21-18.

In the second game, Saina lacked momentum and slipped up against Yamaguchi, who did not fell behind throughout the game to eventually clinch the match.

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