London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal on Friday crashed out of the $250,000 India Super Series after suffering a straight-game defeat against world number two Yihan Wang in the quarterfinals of the women's singles competition at the Siri Fort complex in New Delhi.
The world number eight Saina went down 16-21 14-21 to Yihan in 39 minutes. It was her eighth defeat to the Chinese.
Saina tried to put pressure on Yihan and was also successful in setting up the Chinese but she faltered with her strokes and could not finish off the points. Her strokes were inaccurate and lot of the retrieves got buried at the nets.
In the opening game, Saina tried to keep the shuttle on the back of the court and got a few points in that area but Yihan was more energetic as she glided through the court with ease and retrieved everything which was thrown at her to lead 11-9 at the break.
After the breather, Yihan continued her dominance and kept Saina at bay, riding on the Indian's inaccurate strokes.
Saina's taps were going to the nets and smashes out of the court. Yihan smashed one at the back court to earn four game points and then with Saina hitting out, she earned the bragging rights.
Saina went for her two instant review chances which has been put in place today but on both occasions she wasted it.
Things didn't change much in the second game, as once again Yihan marched ahead to lead 11-4 with the help of her delayed taps and backhand returns.
Saina reeled off four straight points after the breather by engaging Yihan in rallies. But she started to dominate again with the help of her repertoire of shots. A few unforced errors and wrong judgements, and Yihan was leading 18-9.
The Chinese then made it 19-9 with the help of a cross court flick and soon enjoyed 10 match points at 20-10.
However, there was still some fight left in Saina as she saved four match points but Yihan eventually closed the door with a smash.
"I need to improve my fitness and net play. A few errors at crucial time cost me the match. I need to work on those mistakes before the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games," said Saina.