Saina Nehwal’s poor run continued this season as she crashed out of the women’s singles competition after suffering a narrow defeat to Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand in the second round of the Hong Kong Super Series badminton tournament in Kowloon here on Thursday.
Seventh seed Saina, who improved a rung in the world rankings to be sixth, lost 21-17, 9-21, 21-15 to Porntip, who jumped three places to world no. 10, at the Hong Kong Coliseum here.
Ajay Jayaram’s campaign in the men’s singles also came to an end after he went down 21-18, 21-12 to Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia in 36 minutes.
Olympic bronze medallist, Saina, held a 6-0 record against the Thai girl before the match but it counted for little during the 50-minute battle between the two shuttlers.
Saina tried to dominate the nets but Porntip didn’t give her too many opportunities. She had all the answers to Saina’s smashes, four more than the Indian.
The other Indian in the fray, Ajay failed to negotiate the powerful smashes of Sony, who registered as many as 17 smash winners, compared to the Indian’s four. Though Ajay was better at the nets, it didn’t matter in the end. Sony opened up a 4-0 lead early on but the Indian clawed back soon and moved together till 9-9.
However, Sony once again surged ahead with six straight points and didn’t allow Ajay to come back in the first game.
In the second game, Sony was more dominating as he didn’t allow Ajay any chance of a fight and from 8-6, kept extending the lead to eventually close the issue comfortably.