Saina Nehwal lost to Japan’s Sayaka Sato in the women’s singles first round of the Asian badminton Championship in Wuhan, China, on Wednesday. The London Olympics medallist lost 21-19, 16-21, 18-21.
The seventh seeded Saina, who has two bronze medals from the continent’s marquee event, lost the match in little over an hour.
Saina recently lost in the round 1 of Malaysia Open. She underwent knee surgery after the 2016 Rio Olympics and since recovering the Hyderabad girl has been struggling to hit her top form.
However, Rio Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu defeated Dinar Dyah Ayustine of Indonesia to advance to the second round. In a relatively lop-sided affair, world No.3 Sindhu outplayed Ayustine 21-8, 21-18 in just 31 minutes.
In men’s singles, India’s Ajay Jayaram beat fifth-seeded Tian Houwei of China 21-18, 18-21, 21-19.
In women’s doubles, India’s Ashwini Ponappa and N. Sikki Reddy lost to South Korea’s Chae Yoo Jung and Kim So Yeong 20-22, 16-21.
In men’s doubles, China’s Fu Haifengbea and Zhang Nan beat India’s Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy 21-9, 21-18.
In mixed doubles category, it was end of road for Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N.Sikki Reddy as the Indian pair failed to climb the Chinese wall and thus got beaten by Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen in the opening round of the tournament.