Ace Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth crashed out of the ongoing Thailand Open after suffering defeats in their respective second-round matches of the BWF $350,000 tournament on Thursday. The former world number one Saina was defeated by Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi 21-16, 11-21, 14-21 in the second round. Nehwal was able to win the first game, but Takahashi made a strong comeback as she registered strong performances in the second and third games to win the match.
In the absence of Olympic medallist PV Sindhu, who withdrew in the last minute from the event, Saina’s ouster marks the end of India’s campaign in the women’s singles event. The world number eight was competing at the Thailand Open after a two-month injury lay-off, which had forced her to miss the Indonesia Open and Japan Open.
In men’s singles event, Srikanth lost 21-11, 16-21, 12-21 to Thailand’s Khosit Phetpradab in a second-round duel which lasted less than an hour. Parupalli Kashyap also lost his second-round contest to Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan 9-21, 14-21 in 33 minutes.
However, there was some good news in the men’s doubles event as the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty moved into the quarterfinals after registering a straight-game 21-17, 21-19 win over Indonesian combination of Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto. They will face qualifiers Choi Solgyu and Seo Seung Jae of Korea on Friday.
Nehwal had made a strong return to the badminton court on Wednesday as she registered a straight-game win over Thailand’s Phittayaporn Chaiwan. The 29-year-old defeated Chaiwan 21-17, 21-19 in her opening round match.