India’s campaign in the women’s singles of the $350,000 Hong Kong Super Series came to an end after ace shuttler Saina Nehwal was stunned by Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals in Hong Kong on Friday.
Seeded third, Saina went down 15-21 19-21 to her lower ranked opponent in just 39 minutes in Kowloon.
Before today’s match, Saina held a 5-2 edge over her Taipei rival. Last time the two met, the Indian had defeated Ying in the semifinals of Swiss Open in 2013.
World No. 4 Saina, who recently won the title at China Open, looked pretty rusty today.
The girl from Hyderabad was a pale shadow of herself in the opening game before she fought back in the second, but failed to make it to the next round.
Breaking away from a 2-2 tie in the first game, there was no looking back for the Taipei girl. She just kept on extending the lead, even as Saina played the catch-up game.
Although Saina tried her best, she always trailed behind Ying, seeded sixth. By the end of the opening round, the Taipei girl had surged ahead wrapping it up 21-15.
The Olympic bronze medallist, however, pulled up her socks in the second game and came up with a much-improved show.
It turned out to be a closely fought affair as the game tilted from one end to another and the two shuttlers were tied at 19-19. But the World No. 9 Ying came up with two consecutive winners just when it mattered most to seal the issue in her favour, thereby making it to the semifinals.