Saina Nehwal crashes out in stunning upset

Poor movement by Saina Nehwal hurt her throughout the match with Ulitina playing multiple smashes into the body and away from Saina to build up the point.

By: Express Web Desk | Published: August 14, 2016 6:43 pm
Rio de Janeiro: India's badminton player Saina Nehwal plays against Vicente Lohaynny of Brazil during the Women's Single match in the Summer Olympic 2016 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday. Saina Nehwal won the match by 21-17, 21-17. PTI Photo by Atul Yadav(PTI8_11_2016_000304B) The World No 5 Saina Nehwal played poorly with multiple errors in judgement and in retrieving drops and angled shots.

If India’s dismal showing in the Rio 2016 Olympics wasn’t already bothering people and leaving many hearts broken, it just got worse. Saina Nehwal lost her second group stage encounter 18-21, 19-21 to World No 61 Ukraine’s Maria Ulitina to crash out of the competition.

World No 5 Nehwal played poorly with multiple errors in judgement and in retrieving drops and angled shots. Also, Ulitina showed better court coverage and defensive shots to rarely allow the Hyderabadi to settle in.

In the first set, Saina started brightly to lead 6-1 helped by her attacking play and nervy start by Ulitina. Then the Ukranian grew into the competition with her deft touches and angles.

Poor movement by Saina hurt her throughout the match with Ulitina playing multiple smashes into the body and away from Saina to build up the point. She reduced the gap in the first to 17-17. Then she ran away with three points to bring up surprise set points. Saina saved one in a good rally but Ulitina won the first set after her backhand sailed wide.

In the second set, there was no gap for either players with cagey contest prevailing from start till the end. It continued till 18-18 before angled smash by Ulitina created an opening which was then closed by Saina.

Ulitina then sent another good smash back to bring up match point. With luck on her side, the Ukranian enjoyed success as the shuttle hit the net and toppled over. Saina unfortunately couldn’t send it back to lose and bring to an end her campaign in Rio.

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  1. J
    John
    Aug 14, 2016 at 2:14 pm
    PV Sindhu, the last hope for Olympics Bladminton. Let's hope she does well. I like her focused, low key and let's get the job done approach.
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      Ashish Singh
      Aug 14, 2016 at 2:54 pm
      The saffron "bhakts" are in a fix, they banked on Saina Nehwal to deliver a medal for India of higher ranking than the expected bronze from Sania Mirza and Bopanna. The riddle is these "bhakts" never treat Sania as an Indian, always citing her marriage to stani Shoaib Malik, therefore will they accept her bronze for India?
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        Arun
        Aug 14, 2016 at 1:49 pm
        With due respect to Saina Nehwal, today she has taken her opponent, the World No 61 Ukraine’s Maria Ulitina very causally and lost game.Never she was at top except first set initially when there was difference of 5 points.One must appreciate Maria Ulitina for her super fight against two time pla Olympic player Saina Nehwal. Today there was no excuse for her in losing match due to her over confidence and now out of tournament.
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          Raj
          Aug 14, 2016 at 2:03 pm
          Expected this. She is over confident and looks under prepared. For an event like Olympics you are representing the country with billons of hope. I read from somewhere that whe the current olympic contingent is questioned people are coming i suport. Even Fiji and Singapore have got gold medals...So sad!!
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            jiban
            Aug 14, 2016 at 2:13 pm
            The Ukranian opponent looked the better player. lt;br/gt;Saina Nehwal won the bronze last time by fluke. Her opponent got injured.lt;br/gt;Cant we get some mature reporters to give balanced reporting.
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