The stress and fatigue of playing three consecutive events caught up with Saina Nehwal as the world number 7 came a cropper in the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Grand Prix Gold tournament in Johor Bahru on Friday.
The 19-year-old had laboured through the initial rounds but could not keep up against Chinese qualifier Xin Wang, who was playing her first international tournament since November 2003. Saina lost 21-14, 21-10 in just 26 minutes.
Also shown the door was the top seeded mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V Diju. The world number 10 combination faltered after dominating the first game to go down 8-21, 21-14, 21-16 against Indonesia's Hendra Gunawan and Vita Marissa as India's challenge in the tournament came to an end.
After the exit of Diju and Jwala, all expectations were on Saina but she could not live upto expectations.
"I tried my best but I was mentally tired and could not control the game," she told the Hindustan Times on
The fatigue factor had also affected Saina's performance in the first two rounds of the tournament. "I could have pulled out of the Malaysia Open but then I wanted to play since I have been playing well and wanted to maintain the rhythm," she said.
Saina now plans to take a few days break before beginning her preparations for the World Championships in August at her hometown, Hyderabad.