Saina crashes out of All England

Saina crashes out of All England

Top Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal suffered a straight-game defeat to Xuerui LI of China in the women’s singles quarterfinals to crash out of the All England Championship at Birmingham on Friday.

The world number four Indian lost 13-21, 21-23 to the seventh seeded Chinese.
Li opened up a narrow 2-0 lead and went into the break with at 11-8. The Chinese then reeled off seven straight points to pocket the first game. Saina started the second game and moved to a 4-2 lead.

But the Indian lost a couple of points due to unforced errors and was also unlucky once to be at the receiving end of an umpiring decision as Li moved from 6-6 to 9-9 before going into the break at 11-9. After the break, Saina won a long rally to level at 12-all. Li had her nose ahead at 19-17 and with Saina hitting out once again, the Chinese went up to 20-17 for match point.

Pushed to the wall, Saina not only saved three match points but also grabbed the lead at 21-20. However, the Chinese wrested control and led 22-21 and then won a long rally to eventually seal the match.

Dan in semis

Lin Dan blasted his way past old rival Taufik Hidayat 21-18, 21-8 on Friday to earn a place in the semifinals.

The Chinese is the current world and Olympic champion, titles held by Hidayat at his peak in the mid-2000s but time has marched on and the Indonesian has not beaten Lin in seven years. Lin leads in head-to-head record of 10-3.

Results (quarterfinals, prefix denotes seeding): Men: 2-Lin Dan (Chn) bt Taufik Hidayat (Ina) 21-18, 21-8; 8-Lee Hyun-il (S Korea) bt Daren Liew (Mal) 21-15, 21-13.     

Women: 7-Li Xuerui (Chn) bt 4-Saina Nehwal (Ind) 21-13, 23-21; Tzu Ying Tai (Tai) bt Sung Ji-hyun (S Korea) 20-22, 21-14, 21-14. 

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