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China Open: Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy Bow Out in Second Round

It was a bad day in the office for the star Indian shuttlers as Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy crashed out of the China Open after losing their respective second round matches in Shanghai on Thursday.

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Updated:November 16, 2017, 2:50 PM IST
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China Open: Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy Bow Out in Second Round
File image of Saina Nehwal. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
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New Delhi: It was a bad day in the office for the star Indian shuttlers as Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy crashed out of the China Open after losing their respective second round matches in Shanghai on Thursday.

Prannoy — who recently acquired his highest ever BWF ranking of 11 — lost to China's Cheuk Yiu Lee who is ranked 53 in the world. Lee thumped Prannoy is straight games and won the match 21-19, 21-17 in just 42 minutes to progress.

While as for Saina, she lost to World Number 4 Akane Yamaguchi in straight games. The Japanese entered the round three of competition after recording a 21-18, 21-11 win over Saina. It was a disappointment for both Saina and Prannoy, especially after the two shuttlers had won the women's and men's singles titles respectively at the recently-concluded National badminton championships.

For Saina, the match against Yamaguchi was always expected to be a tricky one considering her inferior head-to-head record against the Japanese. Before the start of today's match, Saina trailed Yamaguchi one to three in head-to-head record with their three previous results going in the Japanese favour and the trend continued.

Saina, thus, suffered her fourth defeat against Yamaguchi this year. The London Olympic bronze-medallist, who won the title here in 2014, got off to a positive start to take a slender 11-9 lead. But Yamaguchi fought hard to pocket the first game 21-18.

Down by a game, Saina's game started to deteriorate. She lacked momentum in the second game and never looked in the mental frame to make a comeback, even as Yamaguchi comfortably took control of the proceedings.

The Japanese never looked in trouble after taking the first game and did not fall behind for a single moment in the second game as she sealed the match with consummate ease in just 37 minutes.

Later in the day, world no 11 Prannoy went down fighting to less-fancied Lee in a second round clash that lasted 42 minutes.

The encounter started with both Prannoy and Lee exchanging quick early points before the Hong Kong shuttler raced to a two-point lead. Prannoy tried to stage a comeback but Lee took an 11-9
lead at the interval.

After the break, Prannoy tried hard to shift the momentum but never really managed to achieve that as Lee took the first game 21-19. Prannoy played his heart out and took a slender one-point
lead (11-10) at the break in the second game.

But after the break, exhaustion seemed to have caught up Prannoy as the Indian struggled, enabling Lee to make a comeback and finally wrap up the contest 21-17.

((With PTI Inputs))

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