Saina Nehwal, Carolina Marin bow out of India Open quarter-finalsFebruary 3, 2018
Saina Nehwal, top home shuttler, was knocked out of the India Open on Friday. She lost to American Beiwen Zhang.
Saina, who reached the finals at Indonesia Masters last week, looked a little sluggish in her movement and committed too many unforced errors to go down 10-21, 13-21 to World No 11 American Beiwen Zhang.
The biggest upset of the day was produced by Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi, who knocked out Olympic champion Carolina Marin, who had reached the finals of the Indian Open last year, 21-12 21-19 in a 48-minute clash.
Marin later complained about poor umpiring, saying the chair umpire was allowing changing the shuttle at his own will and acted as a “protagonist”.
In the other upset of the day, Saina looked completely out of sort in the opening game as a series of unforced errors saw her lag 0-6 behind before entering the interval at 5-11.
Zhang continued to dominate the rallies after the breather and grabbed the opening game when the Indian netted.
Saina changed gears in the second game as her movements became better and she constructed the rallies well to move 9-9 together with the American. But Zhang again held a 11-9 held after unleashing a smash on Saina’s forehand.
After the break, Zhang again looked ominous as Saina struggled and eventually bowed out after hitting long.
Ponnappa, Sikki Reddy lose
Sixth seeded women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy lost 17-21, 21-23 to Chinese pair of Du Yue and Li Yinhui.
Seventh seeded Indian combo of Jakkampudi Meghana and Poorvisha S Ram lost 10-21, 15-21 to second seeded Thai pair of Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai.