India's Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal crashed out of the Thailand Open on Thursday following defeat in the second round against Japan's Sayaka Takahashi.
The shuttler registered a strong start to the clash with a 21-16 victory in the first game. However, the Japanese badminton star made her presence felt in the second and third games, recording wins by a 11-21 and 14-21 margin.
This defeat will certainly be a setback for Saina who delivered an excellent performance against Thailand's Phittayaporn Chaiwan on Wednesday. The Indian badminton star thrashed Chaiwan 21-17, 21-19 in the opening round clash to raise expectations of a successful campaign.
The 29-year-old certainly did not seem to be optimally fit during the course of the clash as she struggled to cover the court following excellent cross-court drops by the Japanese which Saina struggled to reach out to.
The badminton star's failure to advance to the quarter-finals of the tournament following a clash which lasted 48 minutes, leaves Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty as the country's representatives so far.
The duo progressed to the third round of the tournament following a 21-17, 21-19 triumph over Muhammad Rian Ardianto and Fajar Alfian. Kidambi Srikanth and Parupali Kashyap will further battle it out in men's singles clashes against Chinese Taipei's Chou Tien Chen and Thailand's Khosit Phetpradab.