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PBL 2018-19: 5 players who disappointed in the Bengaluru Leg

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627   //    11 Jan 2019, 18:07 IST

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal

The last leg of Premier Badminton League 2018-19 at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, Bengaluru saw some exciting matches. It had its usual share of highs and lows, like the previous legs of PBL this year.

Though there were some players who played beyond expectations and some who lived up to the challenge, there were also some who let themselves and their franchises down. Here is a list of five such players who disappointed in the Ahmedabad leg.

The list of players includes three singles players and a top mixed doubles pair.

#1 Saina Nehwal (North-Eastern Warriors)

In their last match of the tournament, North-Eastern Warriors wanted to go out on a high by winning against the top-ranked Awadhe Warriors side. However, they not only failed to win, they even failed to put up a half-decent show and lost the tie 5-0.

One player from whom the North-Eastern franchise had a lot of expectation was Saina Nehwal. Expectedly, they decided to make Saina’s match their trump match, which she had to play against the world number 12 American Beiwen Zhang.

Though ranking-wise there is not much difference between the two since Saina’s ranking too has dropped to 10, she was still the favourite because of her superior skillset and experience of playing and winning in big tournaments over an illustrious career.

She began the match well and won the first game 15-11. However, she simply withered away in the next two games. Maybe the exhaustion of constant travel and matches in the last few weeks of PBL was finally taking a toll on her.

But losing the last two games 11-15 and 7-15 to surrender the match against a lower-ranked opponent, and that too in a trump match certainly came as a huge disappointment to her fans and franchise.

#2 Son Wan Ho (Awadhe Warriors)

Son Wan Ho
Son Wan Ho

In a match mostly dominated by Awadhe Warriors, the world number five Korean Son Wan Ho’s shock defeat to the world number 17 Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of North-Eastern Warriors was the only disappointment for the top placed side in the tournament.

It was not just the defeat but the nature of it, a straight-game surrender which came as a disappointment for the fans who were expecting a competitive match between two of the world’s most skillful badminton players.

An 8-15, 10-15 scoreline reflects poorly on the world number five. He did play in patches, but committed way too many unforced errors, though nothing should be taken away from his Thai opponent’s tactical superiority in this game.

Awadhe Warriors would certainly hope for a much better show from their top gun in the semifinal against an inform Bengaluru Raptors side.

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