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Saina loses in quarters of Korea Open

Saina loses in quarters of Korea Open

Saina Nehwal suffered a straight-games defeat at the hands of sixth seed Yanjiao Jiang.

New Delhi: Saina Nehwal suffered a straight-games defeat at the hands of sixth seed Yanjiao Jiang of China in the quarter-finals to crash out of the Korea Super Series in Seoul on Friday.

The fourth seed Indian lost 17-21 10-21 to the world number six Jiang in a 36-minute battle in the women's singles competition.

The 21-year-old started of well in the opening game and was leading 5-1, but couldn't sustain the pressure as the Chinese drew parity at 8-8 and then kept widening the gap, moving to 14-10.

Saina tried to come back, gaining a few points, but Jiang managed to keep her nose ahead and pocketed the first game.

In the second game, Saina put up a fight but it lasted till 7-6 as the Chinese reeled off six points on the trot to surge ahead and held her fort to enter the semi-finals.

Jiang will play compatriot and World No. 1 Wang Yihan in the semi-finals on Saturday. The tournament was Saina's first in the Olympic year of 2012.

Saina's loss was her fourth consecutive one against the sixth-ranked Chinese. The world number four Indian will next play in the Malaysia Open, starting on January 10.

In the mixed doubles competition, the Indian pair of Jwala Gutta and V Diju waged a grim battle before going down in straight games to the third-seeded combo of Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark, ending India's challenge in the competition.

The World number 14 Indian duo lost 19-21 12-21 to the Denmark pair in a hard-fought 34-minute match.

Jwala and Diju fought tooth and nail in the first game and moved neck-to-neck till 11-11, when the Denmark duo opened up a narrow three-point lead. The Indians caught up at 15-15 but Nielsen and Pedersen broke the deadlock at 17-17 to pocket the first game.

In the second game, the Indian pair had surged to a 4-1 lead but their rivals drew parity at 5-5 before breaking off 8-8. The Denmark combo moved in giant steps and held their fort to advance to the semi-finals.