India's two superstars of badminton could not quite find their grooves when it mattered most at the All England Championships. Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu bowed out of the competition in the quarterfinals of the Super Series tournament.
While Saina is still finding her feet from the injury that kept her out for months, Sindhu was the victim of a difficult draw, wherein she had to face the No.1 seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.
It was always going to take a perfect effort for Sindhu to overcome the top-ranked player, and, unfortunately, for the Hyderabadi, she just could not find a foothold in the match.
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The defence wasn't the greatest, and try as she might, Sindhu could not find a way past Tai, who showed why she is the No.1 seed in an authoritative performance.
Tai went through to the semifinals after beating Sindhu 21-14, 21-10 in just 34 minutes.
So, with Sindhu getting knocked out, the pressure was on Saina to keep it going for the Indian fans.
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On another day, Saina would be getting ready for a semifinal on Saturday, but when it came to the really big points, the former world number one fell short against Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea.
This was a much more closely-fought contest than the one between Sindhu and Tai and if Saina had found way to hold her nerve in the crucial points, the result would have been different.
However, in a match that lasted 53 minutes, despite only going for two games, it was Sung who came through, beating Saina 22-20, 22-20.
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While a quarterfinal exit is disappointing, Saina will be encouraged by the fact that she could really compete at such a high level, after overcoming her injury problems.
What is most crucial for the 26-year-old is to be a 100 per cent fit, because her game is based on being able to move around the court well, and Saina will be happy to see that her body responded pretty well through the tournament.