Saina Nehwal's hopes of a dream start to her campaign received a jolt as she lost her first match in the badminton World Super Series Masters finals to Tine Rasmussen of Denmark at Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia on Thursday.
World No 10 Saina went down 18-21, 14-21 to world No 2 Rasmussen in just 27 minutes.
The Hyderabadi next takes on fourth seed Pi Hongyan of France before locking horns with sixth seed Mew Choo Wong of Malaysia.
Saina trailed right from the start in the first game but fought her way back to grab a two-point lead at 7-5. Rasmussen, however, drew level soon and they were neck-and-neck till 13-13 before the Danish ace showed her class and pocketed five straight points to take a 18-13 lead.
Saina tried her best but the game slipped through.
The second game was even worse as Saina couldn't match Rasmussen's smashes and kept on conceding points. In a flash, the reigning All England champion extended her lead from 11-8 to 13-9 and then to 19-10 before sealing the match at 21-14.
"I am really disappointed. I just couldn't control the game. I made a lot of mistakes and didn't play well at all," Saina said after the match.
"I was leading 7-5 at one point but just blew it away, I am really disappointed with my own performance today," she said.
"Both my next opponents are good rally players and I have to play really well and beat them to enter the next round," she added.