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Saina bows out of Malaysian Open

June 26, 2009 19:13 IST

Saina Nehwal's dream of pocketing back-to-back titles were dashed by Chinese qualifier Xin Wang, who beat her in the quarter-finals of the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament in Johor Bahru on Friday.

The Indian second seed cut a sorry figure as Wang took just 26 minutes to score a 21-14, 21-10 victory.

With Saina's defeat, India's challenge in the tournament ended, as the top seeded duo of V Diju and Jwala Gutta were also shown the exit in the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles. They were beaten by the unseeded Indonesian pair Hendra Aprida Gunawan and Vita Marissa 8-21, 21-14, 21-16.

Saina, who last week created history after winning the Indonesian Open Super Series, looked tired and exhausted. She was nowhere near her best and failed to match her less-fancied opponent.

Wang's dominance in the match could be gauged from the fact that she scored 23 clear winners as against Saina's 13. The Chinese shuttler was also the better of the two at the net, winning 11 points to Saina's seven.

In the first game, both shuttlers went neck-and-neck till the first 15 points but from there on Saina, ranked seventh in the world, went into a shell as Wang pocketed six straight points to seize the initiative.

The second game started on a similar note, with Wang racing to a 6-0 lead. The Indian, although not at her usual best, pulled up her socks and reduced the deficit to 8-7, but it was not her day as the Chinese

capitalized on her tired-looking opponent's weakness to eventually pocket the match and a place in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, the men's doubles pair of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas also exited from the tournament on Thursday night, losing their second round match to Malaysia's Teik Chai Gan and Bin Shen Tan 13-21, 23-21, 19-21.

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