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Updated: April 28, 2011 19:12 IST

Saina Nehwal shocked

Special Correspondent
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UPSET WIN: Gurusai Dutt upset 4th seed Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand in the men's singles event of the India Open. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu UPSET WIN: Gurusai Dutt upset 4th seed Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand in the men's singles event of the India Open. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Japan's Ai Goto has come a long way since losing three times to Saina Nehwal. The gritty Japanese beat the World number four by landing a 21-17, 21-19 knockout punch in the opening round of the $200,000 India Open Super Series badminton championship at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here on Wednesday.

The 33-minute battle saw Goto win the first game in 12 minutes after breaking away from 10-all. He then snatched the match by winning the last five points in a flash. Goto, who had never taken a game off Saina since 2008, ended the Indian interest in the ladies singles by punishing the uncharacteristically erratic favourite.

On the brighter side, Guru Sai Dutt produced the best performance of his budding international career by stunning World number six Boonsak Ponsana, seeded four, 22-20, 18-21, 21-19. On a day when the Indian challengers fell in a heap in all five sections, P. Kashyap was the only other Indian left in the singles.

In fact, in the 63-minute thriller, Guru Sai took the first game by saving three-game points. After narrowly losing the second, Gurusai broke away from five-all in the decider, but just about managed to hang in after a determined Ponsana saved five match-points from 14-20.

The results (first round, involving Indians, prefix denotes seeding):

Men's singles: 1-Lee Chong Wie (Mas) bt Ajay Jayaram 21-19, 21-18; Sourabh Verma bt Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina) 21-18, 21-19; Guru Sai Dutt bt 4-Boonsak Ponsana (Tha) 22-20, 18-21, 21-19; Wing Ki Wong (Hkg) bt B. Sai Praneeth 21-19, 21-12; Sho Sasaki (Jpn) bt Anand Pawar 19-21, 21-17, 21-12; Wan Ho Shon (Kor) bt H. S. Prannoy 21-14, 21-12.

6-Sung Hwan Park (Kor) bt Arvind Bhat 21-14, 21-16; P. Kashyap bt Michal Matejka (Svk) 21-7, 21-15; 2-Taufik Hidayat (Ina) bt Anup Sridhar 21-13, 21-5.

Women's singles: Ai Goto (Jpn) bt 1-Saina Nehwal 21-17, 21-19; 4-Pui Yin Yip (Hkg) bt Aditi Mutatkar 21-14, 21-8; Aprilla Yuswandari (Ina) bt Trupti Murgunde 21-12, 21-5; 8-Salakjit Ponsana (Tha) bt P. V. Sindhu 21-19, 22-20; Jianyuan Chen (Sin) bt Sayali Gokhale 23-21, 15-21, 21-19.

Men's doubles: Patipat Chalardchaleam and Nipitphon Puangpuapech (Tha) bt Akshay Dewalkar and Arun Vishnu 21-18, 21-17; Yohanes Rendy Sugiarto and Afiat Yuris Wirawan (Ina) bt Pranav Chopra and Tarun Kona 21-17, 21-16; Peng Soon Chan and Wee Kiong Tan (Mas) bt S. Sanjeeth and Jagdish Yadav 21-7, 21-17; Hirobe Yoshiteru and Kenta Kazuno (Jpn) bt Manish Gupta and Gaurav Venkat 21-6, 21-9.

Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif and Thein How Hoon (Mas) bt Utsav Mishra and Ravinder Singh 21-9, 21-17; Ki Jung Kim and Sa Rang Kim (Kor) bt S. D. S. Krishna and Vineeth Manuel 21-10, 21-17.

Women's doubles: Ye Na Jang and Min Seo Kim (Kor) bt Meenakshi Nair and Mohita Sahdev 21-10, 21-13; Eiu Hui Chin and Pei Tty Wong (Mas) bt P. C. Thulasi and Sikki Reddy 21-7, 21-11; Kyung Eun Jung and Ha Na Kim (Kor) bt Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant 21-13, 21-9; Sook Chin chong and Liu Ying Goh bt Sanyogita Ghorpade and Saili Rane 19-21, 21-13, 21-12.

Mixed doubles: 8-Ikeda Shintaro and Shiota Reiko (Jpn) bt Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan 21-18, 17-21, 21-14; Akshay Dewalkar and Pradnya Gadre bt Hirata Noriyashu and Miyuki Maeda (Jpn) 21-17, 21-17; 5-Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh (Mas) bt Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa 23-21, 21-10; Gun Woo Cho and Min Seo Kim (Kor) bt Jishnu Sanyal and P. Jyotshna 21-12, 21-14; Muhammad Rijal and Debby Susanto (Ina) bt Gaurav Venkat and Juhi Dewangan 21-6, 21-11; Pranav Chopra and Prajakta Sawant bt Kenta Kazuno and Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn) 21-14, 21-18; Wai Hong Wong and Hoi Wah Chau (Hkg) bt Prem Singh and Niharika Saini 21-7, 21-9.

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One cant really concur here.If anything, Saina Nehwal and many like her are trying to put india on the map.That is apart from our cricketers.India has a long way to go before we excel at individual sports,at the highest level.And any praise forthcoming will be a boon to the budding talent.Anguish, is definitely misplaced, atleast in this context.

from:  Ankala Muller
Posted on: Apr 30, 2011 at 17:06 IST

Dear Ipe: No one lets anyone else down. If at all, India is only let down by the bench sitters like us, who have a wise comment or two for everyone without being half as talented or hard working. And if you still think she has "let the nation down" (whatever that means), please bring the nation up, if you can. If you can't, don't question other performance, she owes all that hardwork only to herself, not to you, me or our nation!

from:  Deepti
Posted on: Apr 29, 2011 at 11:33 IST

Well done Saina Nehwal and all players. A single loss doesn't mean a lot in an individual sport.Keep trying hard, you guys will make it. A request to all to understand individual sport like badminton or Tennis.Unlike team sports there is no one else to help you 'at the given moment on a particular day'. Go around and google to have a look win/loss ratio of top 10 players. Mind you:There can only be very few gifted players like Federer,Lin dan,Lee chong wei or Nadal and so on. In badminton its true that 'A loser today will make you count someother day'. Just pick up a racquet and try yourself to experience this. I am sure any player who trains atleast 4-5 times a week will agree this.

from:  Srinath
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 14:25 IST

I think in sports other than cricket the moment someone comes to the top ten or has some success we just push them way above where they should be. In Saina Nehwal's case it is the same. There was a time that we thought she would be world number 1, but she has begun to slip at crucial junctures just as expectations are high on her. She has let the nation down. I do not know if it is a problem with discipline or focus, but she will have to really work extremely hard to maintain the faith the nation has put on her.

from:  Ipe George
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 08:00 IST
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