Hong Kong Open: Sameer Verma, Saina Nehwal crash out

Both Sameer Verma and Saina Nehwal made opening round exits after losing to Wang Tzu Wei and Cai Yan Yan respectively in Hong Kong.

Saina Nehwal has made opening round exits in five of her last six tournaments.   -  Getty Images

Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma crashed out of the Hong Kong Open Super 500 on Wednesday, losing to Cai Yan Yan and Wang Tzu Wei  respectively.

Cai made an aggressive start in the first game and carried the momentum throughout. After taking the first two points, Saina pulled one back to make it 2-1. But that proved to be a blip for the world No.22 as she needed a little more than ten minutes to wrap up the game 21-13.

Saina started the second game on the front foot, taking the lead in the match for the first time. Cai got back to level terms at 4-4 and then comfortably stayed ahead till 18-14. The Indian then dug deep to win five points straight and take the lead again. Saina squandered a game point at 20-19 and Cai took the next three points to seal the game 22-20 and wrap up the match in half an hour.

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The bad run for the ninth-ranked Indian continues. This is her second consecutive opening round defeat to the Chinese, having also gone down in straight games at the China Open earlier this month. She has now made opening round exits in five of her last six tournaments.

Sameer puts up a fight

Sameer, too, had a poor start to his match. He held slender leads at 2-1 and 4-2, but his Chinese Taipei opponent regained the lead and took the game 21-11 with ease.

The sixteenth-ranked Indian put up a fight in the second game. Despite Wang taking the lead in the opening exchanges, Sameer didn't concede a lead of more than three points. He drew level five times and, at 10-10, went ahead for the first time in the game. This time he didn't let his lead slip as he dropped just three points on his way to taking the second game 21-13.

Sameer could not repeat his heroics as Wang barely broke a sweat in the third game. The Indian was no match for Wang, who dominated to win it 21-11 and bring the curtains down on Sameer's campaign.