Badminton champion Saina Nehwal has faced a first-round knockout at the ongoing China Open Super 1000 tournament. Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan handed the Olympic bronze medalist a defeat in straight sets.
In a match lasting 44 minutes, Nehwal was beaten by Ongbamrungphan 10-21, 17-21. This Ongbamrungphan’s second successive win against Nehwal.
Bogged down by injuries Saina is yet to obtain her top form this season. Starting her season with a win in the Indonesia Open the ace shuttler failed to reach the final in the rest of the season.
Later in the day, world-champion PV Sindhu would start her campaign in the tournament. Sindhu w0n her 1st super series title at China Open in 2016 right after her silver medal finish in the Rio Olympics. Missing a medal in 2017 and 2018 edition of the China Open Sindhu would be keen to bag podium finish this time.
The tournament holds quite a significance for Sindhu in her preparations for the Tokyo Olympics next year. World No. 5 Sindhu would face Olympic champion Li Xuerui in the opening round. Post first round (if she gets through Li) her run up till the quarterfinals would be relatively easy.
Sindhu is expected to face 3rd rank Chen Yufei in the quarter-finals. With Saina out of the tournament, all eyes would be on Sindhu to get a medal for India especially after her World Championship win last month.