Star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal faltered after a good start as she lost to world number three Xin Wang of China in the final to finish runner-up in the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament, in Kuala Lumpur, on Sunday.
The world number four and top seeded Indian, playing with a taped-up ankle, was beaten 21-13, 8-21, 14-21 by her second seeded opponent in 48 minutes.
Saina ran away with the opening game in just 15 minutes, with eight smash winners and better net-play, but the momentum swung immediately as Asian Games gold-medallist Wang roared back into the match.
The Chinese, who finished runner-up in the event two years ago, clinched seven points in a row in the second game to draw level.
She was dominant in the deciding third game as well, leading 11-7, before Saina clawed her way back to make it 14-14.
But Wang again won seven points on the trot to close out the issue.
Interestingly, Wang got the better of Saina in their previous two encounters as well -- both of which incidentally were in Malaysia.
The loss marks an end to Saina's hundred per cent record in the finals of her senior career. She had won all 17 finals she played in before today.
The 21-year-old had a shock first-round exit at the Indian Open Super Series last week.