World No. 4 Saina Nehwal failed to defend her title after she lost to unheralded Shao Chieh Cheng of Chinese Taipei 21-8, 10-21, 19-21 in the second round of the Singapore Open Super Series on Thursday.
With this, the India challenge came to an end as all the other Indians crashed out of the tournament a day earlier.
The Indian, seeded fourth in Singapore, had it easy in the first round. But the second game was totally a different story.
Leveled at 2-2, Cheng wreaked havoc on Saina and went on to win till 15-2. Saina tried to get back into the game but Cheng was in no mood to relent and closed the game at 21-10.
By the third game, the court became a battleground as both the warriors fought for every single point. At 3-3, Saina clinched three consecutive points but Cheng returned the favour by clinching the next three on the trot to make it 6-6.
The game intensified as both tried to outdo each other in order to grab points but the turning point arrived at 14-14 when Cheng stretched her lead to 18-14. By the time Saina managed 19-20, it was too late.