Saina, Anand crash out of All England badminton
Saina Nehwal went down fighting against Pi Hongyan in the first round.
New Delhi: India's highest ranked shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Chetan Anand crashed out of the All England badminton tournament after suffering contrasting defeats in the first round of the Super series event in London on Wednesday.
Saina hopes of a successful comeback after an injury lay-off went up in smoke after she went down fighting 15-21, 16-21 against Pi Hongyan of France, while Chetan squandered a first game lead to go down 21-6, 17-21, 12-21 against Englishman Andrew Smith in the first round of the event.
World No. 10 Saina, who had to skip last month's national badminton championship owing to her shoulder injury, played better from the nets but was outdone by her rivals' smashes in the 34-minute gruelling battle.
The 18-year-old Hyderabadi had 18 net winner against Pi's 17 but could fetch only seven smash points against PI's powerful 12 points.
In contrast, Chetan started off well, pocketing the first game 21-6 but eventually as the match progressed he ran out of steam.
World No. 13 Chetan played better from the nets and had better smash points then world number 21 Smith. Both had identical number of smash points, while Chetan grabbed 26 net points against Smith's 25.
Among other Indians in fray, Anand Pawar put up a brave fight before bowing out 20-22, 15-21 against fifth seed Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia in a battle that lasted for 36 minutes.
Indian women's double pair of Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurian also could not get past Malaysian duo of Chiou Hwee Haw and Pek Siah Lim and went down 9-21, 21-19, 18-21 in a 41-minute clash.