New Zealand Open: Saina, Lakshya Sen eliminated in first round

Lakshya Sen lost to Chinese Taipei's Wang Tzu Wei, while Saina Nehwal lost to China's Wang Zhiyi in the first round of the New Zealand Open on Wednesday.

Nehwal was unable to fight back in the final game and lost 4-21 to exit the tournament.   -  AFP

Saina Nehwal crashed out of the New Zealand Open 2019 as she lost 16-21, 23-21, 4-21 to China's Wang Zhiyi in the first round on Monday. Lakshya Sen was also knocked out in the opening round after losing 21-15, 18-21, 10-21 to Chinese Taipei's Wang Tzu Wei.

In a match that lasted 1 hour and 7 minutes, Nehwal trailed 0-4 in the first game and was unable to keep up with her less-fancied opponent losing 16-21. Wang, ranked 212 in the world, stretched Saina in the second game which the Indian won 23-21. There was no fightback in the decider as Wang won 8 consecutive points to win 21-4 in the third game to exit the tournament.

In the men's singles, HS Prannoy and B Sai Praneeth advanced to the second round. Prannoy defeated Kean Yew Loh 21-15 21-14 in straight games while Praneeth edged Indian counterpart Subhankar Dey 21-17 19-21 21-15 in a close contest that lasted 71 minutes

Lakshya Sen’s campaign, though, ended with a hard-fought loss against Taiwan’s Wang Tzu Wei. Lakshya lost 21-15 18-21 10-21 in an hour and eight minutes.

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Tzu Wei won six consecutive points in the second game to win it 21-18 and force the decider. Sen was unable to mount a challenge in the third game and lost 10-21 to exit the tournament early.

In Women's doubles Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa lost 14-21, 23-21, 14-21 to Chinese pair Liu Xuanxuan and Xia Yuting in the first round. However, Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy progressed to the second round in men's doubles with a dominant 21-7, 21-10 win over New Zealand's Joshua Feng and Jack Jiang.

Anura Prabhudesai also lost to World No. 15 Li Xuerui 21-9, 21-10 in the first round in a disappointing day for Indian shuttlers.

With inputs from PTI

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