Saina Nehwal’s run at the French Open ended with a 22-20, 21-11 loss to World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in the quarterfinals of the BWF World Tour Super 750 badminton tournament here on Friday.
It was Saina’s 12th straight defeat to the Chinese Taipei shuttler, who showed incredible temperament and determination to seal the contest after being 9-16 and 16-20 down in the opening game.
Saina looked in good touch initially but couldn’t match the pace of Tzu Ying later on, squandering four game points while losing the opening game.
Tzu Ying now has an overwhelming 14-5 head-to-head record against Saina.
After the opening game reversal, Saina lagged 1-5 in the second game. The Indian tried to construct points and moved to 6-7 after her rival hit long twice. Saina tried to keep the shuttle at the back of the court but Tzu Ying rode on her stunning drop shots to enter the interval with a 11-6 advantage.
Tzu Ying continued to find points even as Saina crumbled, hitting wide and long. She seemed to have no answers to her rival's superior game, ending up giving a 17-8 lead to Tzu Ying.
In the end, Tzu Ying earned 11 match points after Saina found the net. The Indian saved two match points but the Taiwanese soon cemented her place in the semifinals when Saina erred again.
Earlier, Indian ace P V Sindhu advanced to the quarterfinals with a straight-game win over Japan’s Sayaka Sato but B Sai Praneeth crashed out in the men’s singles.
Sindhu, seeded third, dished out a compact game to outwit Sayaka 21-17, 21-16 in a second round match to set up a clash with seventh seeded Chinese He Bingjiao.
However, Praneeth was no match for Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie of Indonesia, going down 16-21 14-21 in a men's singles match.