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Rediff.com  » Sports » India's campaign in Hong Kong Open ends as Saina, Ajay lose

India's campaign in Hong Kong Open ends as Saina, Ajay lose

Last updated on: November 21, 2013 16:45 IST

Saina Nehwal's poor run this season continued, as she crashed out of the women's singles after losing to Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand in the second round of the Hong Kong Super Series badminton tournament in Kowloon on Thursday.

The seventh seeded Indian, who climbed a rung to sixth in the world rankings earlier in the day, lost 17-21, 21-9, 15-21.

Ajay Jayaram's campaign in the men's singles also came to an end after being beaten 18-21, 12-21 to Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia in 36 minutes.

Olympic bronze medallist Saina held a 6-0 record against the Thai girl before the match but it counted for little during the 50-minute battle between the two shuttlers.

Porntip BuranaprasertsukSaina tried to dominate the net but Porntip, who rose three places to world No 10 in the rankings, did not allow her many opportunities as she engaged her in the rear court and had all the answers to her smashes.

The first game saw Porntip break free at 10-10 after Saina had opened up a 7-4 lead.

The Thai girl was better prepared for the battle as she registered five straight points to create a huge gap before taking the game at 17.

Saina came back firing on all cylinders in the second game and after being locked 4-4 early on, dominated the proceedings completely, accumulating points at will. She reached 10-4 and then moved to 14-6 as Porntip's game crumbled.

In the decider, however, Porntip got her act together and led 3-0 initially. Saina could pose a fight only for the next two points but after that the Thai girl maintained her huge lead to race away with the game and match.

Saina has endured the worst season of her career, having failed to win a single title this year.

The Hong Kong Open brings an end to the 12-leg Superseries circuit of the season and Saina will now try her luck in the season-ending BWF Superseries Final, which will held in Kuala Lumpur next month.

Saina is ranked second in the Superseries standings but it will be a tough task as the event features the top eight shuttlers vying for the top prize-money of US $500,000.

Ajay Jayaram, the other Indian in the fray, failed to negotiate the

powerful smashes of Sony, who registered as many as 17 smash winners, compared to four by him.

Though Ajay was better at the net, it didn't matter in the end. Sony opened up a 4-0 lead early on but the Indian clawed back soon and the scores were level 9-9. However, Sony again surged ahead with six straight points before racing away with the game.

In the second, the scores ran neck and neck till Sony broke away for a 8-6 lead which he maintained to win comfortably.

Image: Porntip Buranaprasertsuk