Indian shuttlers endured a disappointing day at the China Open Super Series Premier with star player Saina Nehwal going down in the women’s singles second round while Parupalli Kashyap crashed out of the men’s singles competition.
While Saina lost 21-16 15-21 17-21 to unseeded Sun Yu of China, Arundhati Pantawane was defeated 13-21 10-21 by third seed Wang Yihan, also of China. Kashyap was defeated 11-21 12-21 by Kento Momota of Japan.
Saina, who was hoping to win her first trophy of the season, started off well, coming back from an early 4-1 deficit to dominate the opening game.
But it was a completely different story in the second game as Sun opened up a 3-0 lead right at the start and maintained the advantage right till the end to even up the score.
The third and final game was an exciting affair with both players going all out. Sania put up good a fight, winning three consecutive games to draw level at 8-8 before the Chinese came up with an incredible seven point streak to lead 15-8.
The Hyderabad girl was in no mood to go down without a fight and she produced a seven-point streak of her own to draw level yet again at 15-15. However, Sun had the last laugh, taking four points on the trot towards the end to wrap up the match.
Sun will now face compatriot and top seed Li Xuerui in the quarterfinals.
Women’s singles: Saina Nehwal lost to Sun Yu (Chn) 21-16, 15-21, 17-21; Arundhati Pantawane lost to Wang Yihan (Chn) 13-21, 10-21
Men’s singles: P Kashyap lost to Kento Momota (Jpn) 11-21, 12-21.