Fuzhou: Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal crashed out of the ongoing China Open after suffering a shock straight-games defeat to China’s Yan Yan Cai in her first-round contest on Wednesday.
Eighth-seed Saina lost to World No. 22 Cai 9-21, 12-21 in just 24 minutes to bow out of the competition.
Meanwhile, her husband Parupalli Kashyap moved into the second round of the men’s singles event with a 21-14, 21-13 win over World No. 21 Thammasin Sitthikom.
This was the first win for Kashyap against the Thai player in their three meetings so far. He will next face World No. 6 Viktor Axelsen for a place in the quarterfinals.
With Saina’s defeat, India’s challenge in women’s singles event has come to an end at the $700,000 tournament. On Tuesday, P.V. Sindhu too had suffered the same fate as he too had crashed out in the first round after losing to World No. 42 Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei on Tuesday.
World No. 6, who made early exits in China, Korea, and Denmark, lost 13-21, 21-18, 19-21 to Pai in a match that lasted for 74 minutes.
Earlier, H.S. Prannoy had also crashed out in the opening round of the men’s singles event, losing 17-21, 18-21 to Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke.