Former world No 1 Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu bowed out of the Malaysia Open Super Series in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. While Saina lost to fourth seed Akane Yamaguchi 21-19, 13-21, 15-21, Sindhu went down to China’s Chen Yufei 21-18, 19-21, 17-21.
Last week, Saina Nehwal lost to PV Sindhu in the quarterfinals of the India Open superseries at Delhi’s Siri Fort sports complex. Sindhu went on to beat Olympic champion Carolina Marin to win her maiden India Open.
On Wednesday in Kuching (Sarawak), it was a dominant start from Saina Nehwal in the match that lasted 56 minutes as she surged to a 13-10 lead in the first game.
Even though world current No 2 Yamaguchi had managed to bridge the gap to just a single point, unseeded Saina Nehwal held on to her nerves to take the game.
It was sheer class from the fourth seed Japanese in the second game however as she pulled the advantage back on level terms by taking it 21-13. The Indian had a three-point gap in the halfway mark but squandered the advantage as she lost momentum after the break.
Akane Yamaguchi started the third game in an equally aggressive manner and held on to the two-point advantage she had in her favour at the break to take the match in comfortable fashion.
Sindhu loses a thriller
The PV Sindhu vs Chen Yufei match lasted 67 minutes. All three games were hotly contested but the Chinese held her nerve on the bog points. Sindhu was the tournament’s sixth seed.
There was some good news for the Indians however, as Ajay Jayaram went through to the next round beating China’s Qian Bin 21-11, 21-8.