China Open Super Series: Saina Nehwal, H.S. Prannoy Exit the Tournament
New Delhi: Former world number one Saina Nehwal lost 10-21, 13-21 to defending champion Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in women’s singles quarter-final to bow out of Denmark Open Super Series. Saina, who knocked out Olympic champion Carolina Marin 22-20 21-18 on Thursday, failed to continue her good form and looked off-colour throughout the match.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina started the game on a disappointing note as Yamaguchi took an early lead in the opening game and kept working on the gap which the Indian failed to reduce as the Japanese took the first game 21-10 in just 12 minutes.
The second game started on the same note as the first one as Yamaguchi once again took the early lead. However, Saina somehow managed to bounce back and make it 8-8.
Later, Yamaguchi took four points on the trot with a series of long backhand shots, while the Indian committed a lot of errors, which ultimately resulted in her 13-21 loss in the second game.
It proved out to be a one-sided contest as Yamaguchi close down the game in just 29 minutes to reach her second straight semi-final.
Overall, it was a dominant performance by Yamaguchi, who was in complete control of her strokes, while Saina on the other hand, had issues with the drift inside the arena, misjudged quite a few shots and failed to hit the shuttle from the backcourt.
Now, all the eyes will be on India’s top men’s singles player world number 8 Kidambi Srikanth, who will face world No. 1 and local favourite Victor Axelsen later in the day, while HS Prannoy will lock horns with world No. 2 and first seed Son Wan Ho of Korea.