India's ace shuttler Saina Nehwal played her heart out but went down to Xuerui Li of China in straight games at the French Open Super Series in Paris on Thursday.
It was a disastrous day for India at the tournament, as Ajay Jayaram and the Commonwealth Games gold medallist pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa too suffered defeats, thus drawing curtains on the country's campaign at the event.
Fourth seed Saina lost 18-21, 29-30 in 48 minutes and crashed out in the second round for the second time in the last two weeks.
Jayaram, who reached the second round of the men's singles after beating fellow-Indian RMV Gurusaidutt on Wednesday night, suffered a 19-21, 14-21 loss to sixth seed Jin Chen of China in 46 minutes.
Jwala and Ashwini too couldn't get past the sixth seeded Korean combo of Jung Eun Ha and Min Jung Kim, losing 13-21, 12-21 in a match that lasted 27 minutes.
After a second round exit from the Denmark Open last week, Saina was hoping for redemption this week, but even her best couldn't save her.
Saina and Li went neck and neck till 18-18 before the Chinese registered three straight points to take the first game.
In the second game, Saina lagged behind as Li opened a 9-4 lead but the Indian caught up at 10-10 and even went ahead at 18-13.
But Li reeled off five straight points to draw parity and then engaged Saina in a see-saw battle as they moved from 18-18 to 29-29 in a high intensity game.
However, it was the Chinese who had the last laugh as she closed out the match at 30-29.