Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal was knocked out of the Yonex Thailand Open Super 1000 after losing the women’s singles second round to Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan here on Thursday. Kidambi Srikanth and the doubles teams too bowed out of the event.
In a tense battle, Saina managed to grab the opening game but she, unfortunately, ran out of steam by the time the game ended, losing 23-21 14-21 16-21 in a match that clocked 68 minutes.
This marks Saina’s fourth straight loss to the world number 12 Busanan. Saina and Busanan engaged in long rallies, but Busanan ultimately stood out with better placement of shots. “She controlled the shuttle quite well. But I am faster than her and played with 100% commitment to win every point,” Busanan said about Sania to the BWF website.
Busanan opened up a 3-0 lead early on but Saina slowly came back and took a narrow 6-5 lead. A cross-court shot helped Busanan turn the tables again as she led 11-9 at the break.
The Thai player maintained her two-point cushion till 15-13 but a precise stroke at the backline helped Saina to draw parity. The duo then moved neck and neck till 17-17 before Saina managed to eke out a two-point lead with a superb net shot.
Srikanth had to, unfortunately, pull out of the event with a calf muscle strain. “Very sad to let you all know that I have been advised to pull out of the Thailand Open due to calf muscle strain. I am hoping to be fit by next week for the next round of Thailand leg,” tweeted Srikanth.
Mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa lost to Tak Ching Chang and Wing Yung Ng of Hong Kong 12-21, 17-21.
The Indian team will now compete in the second tournament at the same venue from next Tuesday.