Friday, June 14, 2024

Saina crashes out of Denmark Open


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NEW DELHI: Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal suffered a straight-game defeat against Tzu Ying Tai of Chinese Taipei in the second round to crash out of the Denmark Open Super Series at Odense on Thursday.

However, Jwala Gutta and V Diju kept India’s tri-colour fluttering after notching up a 21-16, 21-19 victory over Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier of England in the second round of the mixed doubles category.

Fourth seed Saina lost 19-21, 13-21 to the unseeded Tai in a women’s singles match that lasted for 36 minutes at the Odense Sports Park.

Saina was slow to start and lagged behind as Tai first opened up a narrow 3-1 lead and extended it to 15-6. The Indian caught up with the Chinese Taipei player at 18-18 but Tai was unfazed as she sealed the first game.

The second game was a more intense battle as Saina and Tai were involved in a fierce battle till 10-10. But once again Tai surged ahead with short burst of points to eventually have the last laugh.

Jwala and Diju, who beat eighth seeds Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels of Germany 15-21, 24-22, 23-21 in a 56-minute match last night, held their nerves to stave off the challenge from their English counterparts.

The Indian pair moved to a 10-4 lead straight away but the English duo drew parity at 13-all before Jwala-Diju staved off their challenge to pocket the first game.

In the second game, both the parties engaged in a see-saw battle and moved neck-and-neck from 3-3 to 19-19 before the Indians surged ahead to seal the game.

On Wednesday, P Kashyap lost to world number one Chong Wei Lee 11-21, 13-21 in a 31-minute match in the men’s singles.

Saina was knocked out in the first round in the Indian Grand Prix in New Delhi early in the year. The Hyderabadi had won three Super Series titles – Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong – besides winning the Commonwealth Games and India Open Grand Prix gold last year.

However, this year, Saina has won only Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold title while finishing runner-up at Malaysia and Indonesia. (PTI)


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