Saina Nehwal rallied to carve out a hard-fought opening win but PV Sindhu crashed out of the Denmark Open with a stunning loss to American Beiwen Zhang in the women’s singles event on Tuesday. Saina defeated Hong Kong’s Ngan Yi Cheung 20-22, 21-17 and 24-22 in a draining clash that lasted 81 minutes. Also Read - Happy Diwali 2020 Wishes: Virat Kohli Leads Sports Fraternity Wishes on Diwali, Urges Fans 'Not to Burst Crackers'

However, third seed Sindhu lost 17-21 21-16 18-21 to Zhang in another tough opening encounter that lasted 56 minutes. In a tense match, Saina had to endure a stiff challenge from Cheyung, who she last played back in 2016 and went on to lose that match. Also Read - 'I Retire' | PV Sindhu's Tweet Has an Important Message During Pandemic

The see-saw battle was a thriller down to the last point with the Indian saving two match points at 21-20 and 22-21 in the final game to emerge triumphant and move ahead. Also Read - 'Why Will I Have Problems With my Parents?' PV Sindhu Denies Family Rift After Leaving National Camp

Saina was also guilty of frittering away a match point of her own when she led 20-19 in the final game. For Sindhu, this was the third consecutive time that she lost to Zhang. The American shuttler defeated Sindhu in the Indian Open final in February earlier this year.

Rio Olympics silver-medallist Sindhu is going through a difficult phase after winning the silver medal in the Jakarta Asian Games. She was knocked out in the second round of the Japan Open after a straight-game loss to Gao Fangjie.

The script played out similarly in the China Open, where the 23-year-old suffered 11-21 21-11 15-21 loss to world no 6 Chen Yufei of China in the quarterfinals.

(With PTI Inputs)