Saina loses but Jwala-Ashwini keep India in hunt in Korea

New Delhi: Indian women doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa kept India`s tri-colour fluttering in the Korean Open but it was curtains for Saina Nehwal and P Kashyap in the singles category of the Super Series tournament in Seoul.

Saina made a disappointing return from injury as she suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Japanese Sayaka Sato in the second round.

The world number four Indian, who looked rusty in her first round match against Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei yesterday, lost 21-17, 19-21, 11-21 to Sayaka in 53 minutes in the women`s singles.

P Kashyap also became a second round casualty after losing 16-21, 13-21 to third seed Peter Hoeg Gade of Denmark in 38 minutes in men`s singles.

Jwala Gutta and V Diju also tasted defeat at the hands of sixth seeded Chinese pair of Tao Jiaming and Qing Tian, losing 16-21, 13-21 within half an hour in the mixed doubles category.

Commonwealth gold medallist pair of Jwala and Ashwini, however, made sure that Indian camp had something to cheer about by reaching the third round with a 21-18, 14-21, 21-15 win over Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa.

Saina, who missed on-court action for more than a month due to a ligament injury in her right knee, relied on her powerful smashes but Sayato played better at the nets to run away with the match.

The 20-year-old Indian had her nose ahead after the first game, which she won 21-17 but Sayato bounced back after wresting the second game at 21-19 and then kept the pressure on Saina, whose game crumbled.