Saina crashes out of New Zealand Open after shocking loss to world number 212

Saina crashes out of New Zealand Open after shocking loss to world number 212
Saina Nehwal. File photo/AFP
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Auckland: India's Saina Nehwal suffered a shocking first round loss to world number 212 Wang Zhiyi of China to exit the New Zealand Open here Wednesday.

The 29-year-old Olympic bronze medallist and world number nine lost 16-21 23-21 4-21 to her 19-year-old opponent in the women's singles match that lasted one hour and seven minutes.

In men's singles, Lakshya Sen's campaign also ended with a hard-fought loss against Taiwan's Wang Tzu Wei. Lakshya lost 21-15 18-21 10-21 in an hour and eight minutes.

Earlier in the day, the pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy fought hard against Chinese duo of Liu Xuanxuan and Xia Yuting before losing 14-21 23-21 14-21 in an hour and 10 minutes.

But the men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy registered a win over New Zealand's Joshua Feng and Jack Jiang 21-17 21-10.

Saina, a World Championship silver medallist, trailed 0-4 in the first game and was unable to keep up with her opponent losing 16-21.

Wang stretched Saina in the second game which the Indian won 23-21. There was no fightback from the Indian in the decider as Wang won eight consecutive points to win it easily.

Anura Prabhudesai also lost to world number 15 Li Xuerui 9-21 10-21 in singles first round on a disappointing day for Indian shuttlers.

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