Birmingham, March 8: The Indian challenge at the prestigious $400,000 All England Open Badminton Championships came to an end when Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal was ousted from the women’s singles quarter-final by China’s Shixian Wang here.
The Indian seventh seed lost to World No.3 Shixian 17-21, 10-21 in 43 minutes at the National Indoor Arena Friday and with this win at the Super Series Premier, the Chinese bettered her head-to-head against Saina to 3-4.
The fourth seeded Shixian completely outplayed the Hyderabadi right from the word go.
The former World No.1 took a 6-1 lead in the first game and did not look back. Saina showed some spark in the end, saving four gamepoints but that wasn’t enough as her error at the net gave Shixian the game.
The Chinese was even more dominant in the second game taking a 9-2 lead in a matter of minutes to stamp her authority once again. Saina saved two matchpoints but the Chinese was too far ahead to let the Indian make a comeback.
Former World Championship bronze medallist Shixian will next play compatriot and former World Champion Yihan Wang in the semi-finals of the 104th edition of the Championships.
This is World No.7 Saina’s third quarter-final loss at the historic tournament while her previous best performances were reaching the semi-finals in 2010 and 2013.
Only two Indians — Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand — have won this tournament in the past.