Saina Nehwal, on her return from injury, failed to advance to the quarter-finals after she lost to Japan's Sayaka Takahashi in three games in the second round of Thailand Open on Thursday.
While Saina was upset by Takahashi, India's top men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty pulled off a huge win against Indonesia's Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto to advance to the quarter-finals.
Saina, who beat local hope Phittayaporn Chaiwan in straight games in the first round, was outplayed by Takahashi in the second and third games to lose the match 21-16, 11-21, 14-21 in 48 minutes.
Saina looked strong in the first game and played around Takahashi well as the Japanese struggled to keep the shuttle within the lines of the court. However, the story completely changed in the second game when Takahashi started dominating the Indian and played some exquisite cross-court drops and to the line to tire Saina.
Saina did not seem like she was still in the best of shape as she struggled to cover the court and was outpaced by her Japanese opponent. In the second game as Takahashi used drop shots at ease, Saina struggled to reach out to them and look completely drained out.
Satwik-Chirag, however, gave Indians the reason to cheer as they upset Alfian-Ardianto 21-17, 21-19 in 39 minutes to advance to the quarter-finals of the Thailand Open.
This is the second straight quarter-final appearance for Satwik-Chirag after they played the quarter-final at Japan Open last week, where they lost to the home pair of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda.
Satwik-Chirag showed exemplary skills at the net as they made their Indonesian opponents cover a large part of the court. After the win, Satwik and Chirag pointed at the coach's bench smiling, crediting their coach for the strategic win.
Alfian and Ardianto were also not at their best as they made a number of unforced errors but Satwik-Chirag matches the quick play extremely well and took their chances to get the victory.
Satwik-Chirag will next face South Korean pair of Choi Solgyu and Seo Sueng Jae, who have come through the qualifiers.