Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal bowed out of the women’s singles event of the USD 750,000 Indonesia Open Super Series after going down to China’s World No. 1 Li Xuerui in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Saina, seeded eighth, lost 20-22 15-21 to the Chinese shuttler in 44 minutes. With this victory, the top-seeded reigning Olympic champion has now extended her record against Saina to 7-2.
The Olympic bronze medallist Saina gave a tough fight to her opponent in the opening game but failed to keep up the momentum in the second and went down tamely.
The first game saw both players exchanging the lead a few times before they were tied at 5-5. Xuerui, the All England champion, then surged ahead to open up a 10-6 lead.
Saina, however, fought back, bagging four consecutive points to catch up her rival at 10-10.
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From being tied at 12-12, the Chinese time and again took slight edge, but the shuttler from Hyderabad kept clawing back and made it 20-20.
But just when it mattered the most, Xuerui managed to bag two crucial points to grab the first game at 22-20.
Saina completely ran out of steam in the second game as she even failed to pose a challenge to her higher ranked opponent, even as the Chinese put up a dominating show.
Xuerui first opened up a 5-2 lead and thereafter just went on extending it to finally wrap up the match in her favour comfortably.
Xuerui will next take on the Nichaon Jindapon of Thailand in the semifinals.