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Saina goes down in qualifiers
May 30, 2006 20:28 IST
Indian teenager Saina Nehwal failed to weave her Philippines Open magic and bowed out of the Indonesia Open badminton championships in Surabaya, Indonesia after losing in the qualifying rounds of the women's singles.
The 16-year-old Saina, who captured the imagination of the sports lovers across the country by becoming the first Indian and the youngest Asian to win a four-star event on Sunday, went down fighting 17-21, 21-23 in her second qualifying match to Yuan Kartika of Indonesia.
The 86-ranked Saina, who had to go through the qualifiers for the USD 250,000 tournament, got a walkover in the first qualifying match against Fiona Mckee of Canada before going down in the second round match.
The loss, nevertheless, will not take away the shine from the achievements of young Saina, who beat world number two and top seed Xu Huwaein of Germany in the quarter-finals en route to her title triumph at Manila.
The Hyderabad girl hardly got any breathing space as she had to leave for Surabaya barely hours after her victory in Manila.
"It takes a lot of effort to perform so well in back to back tournaments. She will have to learn how to travel and keep focus while playing tournaments at this level," her coach Pullela Gopichand said.
The rising star, however, could make a strong comeback and prove her win was not a flash in the pan as she has another two tournaments -- Singapore Open and Malaysian Open -- in the Asian circuit lined up in the following weeks.
"At this level the mistakes are magnified and opponents take use of every single opening once they get to know your game. She needs to correct these mistakes," Gopichand said.
Heartbreak was also in store for other Indian girls, none of whom could pass the qualifying hurdle.
Teenager Sayali Gokhale, who also created a sensation by dumping seasoned Anna Rice of England in the first round of the Philippines Open, lost to Aprilia Yuswandari of Indonesia 18-21, 21-17, 21-18.
Ruth Misa gave a fight before losing 15-21, 8-21, 18-21 to Weny Rahmawati of France.
Aditi Mutatkar went down 10-21, 10-21 to Li Chen of China, while Cheda Kadambari lost 18-21, 11-21 to Melica Kurniawan.
Jwala Gutta won the first qualifying match 21-9, 19-21, 21-9 against Chirtina Rhany Sanusi but lost the next round 13-21, 16-21 to Atu Rosalina of Indonesia.
In the men's singles, Rohan Castelino cleared one qualifying match beating Holvy De 21-10, 21-12 and would take on Agus Budhi for a berth in the main draw.
Another Indian in the fray, J Vidyadhar won the first two matches against Ferdinand Satrio and Aditya Arifin of Indonesia and will fight it out with Andrea Adityawarman in the final qualifying match.
India's top shuttler Chetan Anand, national Champion Anup Sridhar, Arvind Bhat, Anand Pawar, P Kashyap have got a direct entry in the main draw of the tournament.