China Open: Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy crash out in second roundNovember 16, 2017
NEW DELHI: HS Prannoy and Saina Nehwal – who last week won the men’s and women’s singles titles at the national badminton championships – joined the exodus of Indian shuttlers from the China Open Super Series, losing their respective second-round matches on Thursday in Shanghai.
Their exits leave second-ranked PV Sindhu as the remaining Indian player in the tournament.
World No 11 HS Prannoy suffered an upset defeat to 53rd-ranked Cheuk Yiu Lee of China in straight games 21-19, 21-17 across 42 minutes, and shortly after Saina, ranked 11th in the women’s singles, was beaten by World No 4 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 21-18, 21-11.
The 21-year-old Lee narrowly took the first game against Prannoy and then had an easier time beating him in the second, and thus progress into the round of 16.
In the first meeting between the two, Saina engaged in a keen tussle with fifth-seeded Yamaguchi, losing the first game by three points. The Japanese ace took the early lead in the second game and broke away from 14-9 with eight consecutive points to take the match 21-11. This was Saina’s fourth loss to Yamaguchi this year.
Prannoy had won his opening match against Lee Dong Keun 18-21, 21-16, 21-19 while Saina overcame USA’s Beiwen Zhang in straight games 21-12, 21-13.