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Sridhar, Saina exit All England

March 06, 2008 12:41 IST

Anup Sridhar and Saina Nehwal gave a scare to their more fancied rivals before bowing out in the first round of the All England Badminton Championships in Birmingham.

Sridhar surprised Lin Dan of China by taking the first game but succumbed to the top seed opponent 21-16, 8-21, 11-21.

The 28th-ranked Saina fought tooth and nail with Yu Hirayama of Japan, ranked six places above her, before going down 18-21, 21-18, 18-21.

The draw did little favour to India as the women's doubles pair of Shruti Kurian and Jwala Gutta were pitted against top seeded Chinese combination of Yawen Zhang and Yili Wei, and were thrashed 3-21, 9-21.

With these losses, the Indian challenge ended with none of the shuttlers going beyond the first round.

Sridhar capitalised on Lin's sloppy display in the beginning to take the lead but the top seeded Chinese turned things around in the nick of time to defeat the 26th-ranked Indian in 41 minutes.

Lin will next face Eric Pang of the Netherlands.

Saina fought back after losing the first game and was always in the reckoning before losing to her Japanese opponent in 55 minutes.

Jwala and Shruti were no match to the Chinese top seeds and went out of the tournament in just 19 minutes.

Earlier, Arvind Bhat and Chetan Anand were knocked out of the championships in the first round of the men's singles qualifiers, while Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurian could not go beyond the second round of women's singles qualifiers.

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