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Singapore Open: Saina Nehwal Ousted by Aya Ohori

By: Sports Desk

Last Updated: July 15, 2022, 14:12 IST

Singapore, India

Saina Nehwal (BAI Photo)

Saina Nehwal (BAI Photo)

Saina Nehwal was shown the exit door at the Singapore Open by her Japanese opponent as the Indian veteran lost the match 13-21, 21-15, 20-22

Saina Nehwal was shown the exit door at the Singapore Open by her Japanese opponent as the Indian veteran lost the match 13-21, 21-15, 20-22.

She suffered a harrowing defeat in the first game as her Japanese opponent kept chiselling away at the badminton star from Haryana.

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Veteran Indian shuttler Saina who has been having a torrid time in her battle against injuries and a fight back to form once again struggled to get a quick start as she looked a bit rusty in the opening game.

Ultimately, Nehwal conceded the first game 13-21 as Ohori capitalised on her Indian counterpart’s reduced mobility.

But, the second game was a different story as Nehwal established a five-point lead at the beginning and managed to put pressure on her opponent by holding on to the lead as the players went into the interval with the Indian up 11-7.

Back on the court after the interval, Nehwal exhibited her range of shots playing beautiful drop shots disguised among an array of strong hits while managing to cover quite a bit of ground while returning Ohori’s strokes.

She climbed to a 20-13 lead before managing to close out the game 21-15 to take it to the third game decider.

With the momentum on her side, Nehwal started off the third game in a fighting fashion as she managed to win a couple of points after long rallies that required her to move to the net and cover the baseline alternatively. The badminton ace looked a bit more settled but Ohori wasn’t ready to give up without a fight.

Nehwal through demonstrated her skill and experience to go into the interval with an 11-7 lead. She held on at crucial junctures to maintain her lead and used her challenges to excellent effect.

But, a desperate Ohori tried everything in her control to minimise the arrears with some smart strokeplay. A 21-shot rally point ensured that Ohori wouldn’t stray too far behind Nehwal as she closed the gap to two points at 13-15,

Nehwal established her superiority by racking up a couple of points on the trot to have two match points for the taking as she lead 20-18.

But, the Japanese shuttler held her nerve to peg Nehwal back at 20 each before claiming two consecutive points to seal her berth in the next round.

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first published:July 15, 2022, 14:05 IST
last updated:July 15, 2022, 14:12 IST