KUALA LUMPUR: Indian flying ace Saina Nehwal and Kidambi SrikanthThe dismal run of continued as they suffered first-round exits of the season-opening Malaysian Open here on Tuesday.
Two-time Commonwealth Games champion Saina, who has endured a tough 2022, battling multiple injuries and lack of form, lost 12-21 21-17 12-21 to Han Yue of China in the Super Tournament. 1000 to 1,250,000 USD.
After losing the opener, Saina, who slipped to world number 30, fought back to force a decider in a women’s singles first round match.
However, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist fell behind as Han built a sizable lead to comfortably take the game.
The surrender of former world number one Srikanth was smoother. The world championship silver medalist, who has also struggled with form recently, was stunned by the unranked Kenta Nishimoto of Japan 19-21 14-21 in 42 minutes.
Srikanth, ranked 13th, fought hard in the opening match, but Nishimoto managed to take the lead.
The two commuters were tied at 12-12 in Game 2, but the Japanese ran away with the contest from there.
It was also curtains for Akarshi Kashyap which was dominated 10-21 8-21 by Wen Chi Hsu Chinese Taipei in their first women’s singles match.
Later that day, the women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand will face Yeung Nga Ting from Hong Kong and Yeung Pui Lamand, Krishna Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Panjala will open their campaign against Kang Min Hyuk of South Korea and Seo Seung Jae in the first round of the men’s doubles.



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