No Indian in India Open quarterfinals for the first time since 2008 as country's campaign ends on Day 3
The Indian campaign ended on Day 3 of the competition as Saina Nehwal – the last remaining Indian – crashed out in straight games to China's Chen Yu Fei.
The Indian campaign at the ongoing India Open 2023 ended in disappointment as Saina Nehwal, the final remaining shuttler from the country at the competition, faced a straight-game defeat to World No.3 Chen Yu Fei of China on Thursday. Yu Fei beat Nehwal 21-9, 21-12 to cruise to the quarterfinals of the tournament, where she faces Supanida Katethong, who had defeated title favourite PV Sindhu in the opening round earlier this week.
It was a fairly straightforward win for Yu Fei as she wrapped up the match in merely 32 minutes. The veteran Indian shuttler had no reply to Yu Fei's lighting-fast speed, and a series of unforced errors didn't help Nehwal as she went down in straight games. Earlier on the day, defending champion Lakshya Sen had faced a three-game defeat to Rasmus Gemke of Denmark in the second round as well.
Also read: Lakshya Sen crashes out in 2nd round as Indian challenge ends in men's singles at India Open 2023
India's day had begun with a rather unfortunate withdrawal of star doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty. Satwik reportedly pulled up a groin strain that forced the reigning champions to pull out of the competition; they were scheduled to take on China's Yu Chen Liu and Xuan Yi Ou in the second round. This was immediately followed by a second-round ouster of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnu Goud Panjala – the last remaining men's doubles pair from India at the tournament – as they faced a 14-21, 10-21 loss to Chinese pair of Lian Weiking and Wang Chang.
The women's doubles duo of Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly also failed to make a mark, losing in straight games to sixth-seeded Chinese Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu in the women's doubles pre-quarterfinals.
Earlier in the tournament, Kidambi Srikanth went down fighting against World No.1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark on Wednesday, while PV Sindhu, who is making a comeback after a five-month injury layoff, also faced a shock ouster in the first round. Another men's singles hope HS Prannoy was knocked out by compatriot Lakshya Sen on Day 1 of the tournament.
This is the first time since the tournament's restart in 2008 when no Indian will feature in the quarterfinals across any category.