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Saina, Sindhu crash out of Asia Badminton C'ships

April 26, 2019 18:33 IST

In a men's singles quarter-final match earlier in the day, Sameer Verma too was shown the door after he suffered a 10-21, 12-21 loss to second seed Shi Yuqi of China.

PV Sindhu was stunned by local unknown Cai Yanyan

IMAGE: PV Sindhu was stunned by local unknown Cai Yanyan. Photograph: Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters

Indian shuttlers belied expectations with their Badminton Asia Championships campaign ending quicker than expected after P V Sindhu and Saina Nehwal were knocked out in the quarter-finals in Wuhan, China on Friday.

 

In a men's singles quarter-final match earlier in the day, Sameer Verma too was shown the door after he suffered a 10-21, 12-21 loss to second seed Shi Yuqi of China.

Taking the court first, London Olympic bronze medallist Saina put up a tough fight but could not avoid a 13-21, 23-21, 16-21 defeat at the hands of third seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan. The match lasted an hour and nine minutes.

Saina, seeded seventh here, had needed just 38 minutes to get the better of Kim Ga Eun of Korea to enter the last eight round on Thursday.

The quarter-final duel between Saina and Yamaguchi was a marathon one with both the players matching each other stroke for stroke till the first 10 points of the opening game before the Japanese won eight straight points to take the lead.

It was a close affair between the duo in the second game as well. Locked at 21 apiece, Saina struck two consecutive winners to level the contest.

Saina continued the good work and raced to a 7-2 lead in the decider which she later extended to 14-11 before Yamaguchi roared back into the contest to surge ahead 17-14.

The Japanese never looked back and closed down the contest by winning the decider 21-16.

Much was expected from fourth seed Sindhu but the Rio Olympic silver medallist was stunned by unseeded local girl Cai Yanyan.

After Saina's ouster, the onus was on Sindhu to keep India's flag flying but she was completely out of sorts on Friday.

Sindhu looked a pale shadow of herself and was blown away 19-21, 9-21 by Yanyan.       

The World No 6 Indian went down in just 31 minutes against her Chinese opponent, who is ranked 11 places below the four-time world championship medallist.

It was Sindhu's maiden loss to Yanyan.

Sindhu produced some fight in the opening game before losing it 19-21.

But in the second game the Hyderabad girl was completely outplayed by her lower-ranked Chinese opponent, who ran away with the second game after the initial seven points.

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