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Saina Nehwal crashes out of Thailand Open

India’s shuttler Saina Nehwal entered the second round from the ongoing Thailand Open on Thursday. World no. 20 got a tough fight against local star Busanan Ongbaumrungfan 23-21, 14-21, 16-21. The two shuttlers struggled for over an hour in the match and Saina won the first game but could not make an impact in the next two.

The 30-year-old started off on a strong note, but was quickly faltered as he took a 9–11 lead at the mid-game break. However, the Olympic bronze medalist made a strong comeback and won the first game 23–21 in 26 minutes.

However, after the first game, Ongbamrungphan gave the Indian no chance to exploit, as he won the second game in a solid style. In the final game, Thai maintained the same pace and won 21–16 to enter the quarter-finals.

In the opening round, Saina won 21–15, 21–15 over Kaysan Selvadure of Malaysia.

After Sania’s defeat, India’s challenge in both the women’s and men’s singles matches ended in the tournament. Sixth seed PV Sindhu lost her first round match 21–16, 24–26, 13–21 to world No.18 Mia Blichfeldt on Wednesday.

Kidambi Srikanth, who also made it to the second round, pulled out of the tournament on Thursday before the start of his clash due to a hamstring injury to the calf. Kidambi was slated to face Malaysia’s Li Zi Jia, but the Indians would later exit the bridge and offer a walkover.

Earlier in the day, the star Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty crashed out of the men’s doubles competition after losing their straight games in their second round competition. Satwik-Chirag lost 19-21, 17-21 against Mohammad Ahsan’s Indonesian pair and Hendra Setiawan for 34 minutes.

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