Saina bows out as India’s campaign ends in Thailand Masters

Top Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal suffered a second consecutive opening round defeat as she went to Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt of Denmark to bring curtains on the country’s campaign in the Thailand Masters badminton tournament at Bangkok on Wednesday.

The fifth seeded Saina lost to unseeded Kjaersfeldt 13-21 21-17 15-21 in a hard fought 47-minute contest.

World number 18 Saina had a 4-0 head-to-head record against the number 29 Dane before Wednesday’s match.

With Saina’s defeat, India’s campaign came to an end in the BWF World Tour Super 300 event.

Saina hd also lost in the opening round in the Indonesia Masters last week after entering the quarterfinals in the Malaysia Masters (January 7-12).

In the men’s singles, the trio of Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma and H S Prannoy, too, faltered in the first round.

Indian shuttlers thus continued their poor run after making early exits in the Malaysia and Indonesia Masters earlier this month.

Verma lost to Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia 16-21 15-21 in a 39-minute men’s singles match. The story went on similar lines for the fifth seeded Srikanth, who went down to Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia 21-12 14-21 12-21, in a match that lasted 48 minutes.

This was Srikanth’s third consecutive first-round exit this season.

It was curtains for Prannoy too. He lost 17-21 22-20 19-21 to Malaysia’s Liew Daren.