Saina Nehwal’s hopes of defending the Singapore Open title went up in smoke after the Indian lost to Chinese Taipei’s Shao Chieh Cheng in a thrilling three-game prequarterfinal here on Thursday.

The fourth seeded Indian blew a first game advantage to suffer a 21-8 10-21 19-21 defeat against world number 10 Shao in a 52-minute second round match at Singapore city on Thursday.

The 21-year-old from Hyderabad had won the Singapore Super Series in June last year but Saina failed to repeat her performance today at the Singapore Indoor complex.

The World No 4 Indian, who was knocked out of the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold last week in the quarterfinals, relied on her power-puffed smashes but the Chinese Taipei girl caught her at the nets to reach the quarters.

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