Hyderabad, March 27 (IANS) Saina Nehwal’s hopes of a title finish at home were dashed by Malaysian Julia Wong Pei Xian in a thrilling quarterfinal encounter of the Yonex-Sunrise Indian Open badminton here Friday.
Second seed and World No.9 Saina went down 21-12, 13-21, 18-21 in over an hour.
Fifth seed Julia has now beaten the Indian for the second consecutive time in five meetings.
The Indian started on a promising note but went down in a flurry of errors in the second game as Julia picked up her game.
Both players fought fiercely in the third game with the crowd vociferously cheering for Saina. They played some exceptional rallies as Saina, down 0-4 in the game, came back to level. Julia, however, raised her game to break free from 14-14 and romp home.
“I was a little tensed as she (Saina) was seeded second. After losing my first match, I opened up my game and Saina started to make many errors. She looked nervous and I continued my game plan,” Julia said.
The Indian challenge in the singles draw thus ended with Saina’s exit.
The mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Valiyaveetil Diju beat Malaysian Chiou Hwee Haw and Singapore Yujia Li 21-19, 21-16.