The Indian challenge ended as Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth were knocked out in the quarter-finals at the Super 1000 All England Badminton Championship played at Birmingham on Friday. Both the Indian shuttlers lost in straight games to tough opponents.
Saina Nehwal lost to World number 1 Tai Tzu Ying 15-21, 19-21. It was a great start by the World number 1 Tai Tzu Ying in the first game right from the word go. Tai Tzu Ying led 11-3 at the interval. After the interval, Saina came back strongly and won 9 out of 12 points to reduce the margin at 12-14. Tai produced sensational display to win the first game 21-15.
The Indian began the 2nd game on an aggressive note, taking an 8-3 lead. Tai produced some great shots but Saina held her nerves to take an 11-8 lead at the interval. After the break, the World number 1 played aggressive shots as Saina was suffering from diarrhea.
Tai Tzu Ying led 17-15 before Saina levelled the score at 19-19. Tai Tzu Ying hit two backhand shots to take the 2nd game 21-19 and with it, the match to move into the semi-finals. This was Saina Nehwal's 13th straight defeat to Tai Tzu Ying.
Kidambi Srikanth lost to Kento Momota 12-21, 16-21. It was a dominating performance by Momota who outplayed his opponent and never allowed the Indian to play his attacking game. Momota played aggressive game and showed his class. The Japanese won the first game 21-12 and then followed with another dominating display in the second game to move into the semi-finals.
With this loss, the Indian challenge came to an end. Both these players did well to reach the quarter-finals stage. The biggest setback for the Indian contingent was PV Sindhu losing in the first round itself.
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