Defending champion Saina Nehwal crashed out in the first round of Indonesia Masters as the ace shuttler was shown the exit door by Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi.
Saina, an Olympic bronze medallist, won the first game but couldn’t carry on the momentum in the next two as she suffered 21-19, 13-21, 5-21 loss in a match that lasted for over 50 minutes.
Saina’s poor form continued as it was second consecutive exit in the season after she crashed out in the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Masters last week.
Saina Nehwal, who won the Indonesian Open last year after her opponent Carolina Marin of Spain retired in the finals, is going through a low phase in her career and hasn’t been able to add another title to her cabinet since then.
Earlier in the day, Kidambi Srikanth was also knocked out of the tournament after suffering a first-round defeat to local favorite Shesar Hiren Rhustavito. World No.12 Srikanth went down to Rhustavito 21-18 12-21 14-21 in a match that lasted one hour and three minutes.
In men’s singles, Sai Praneeth lost to the China’s Shi Yu Qi 21-16, 18-21, 10-21.
This was Sai Praneeth’s second successive first round exit after he suffered it at the Malaysia Masters last week.
Earlier in the day, World No.12 Kidambi Srikanth went down 21-18 12-21 14-21 to Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito in a match that lasted more than an hour.
Making it a poor outing for the Indian men, Sourabh Verma also lost to China’s Lu Guangzu in the opening round.