Defending champ Saina Nehwal gutted after losing to Olympic champ Li Xuerui in semi-final of India Open
New Delhi: Saina Nehwal regretted the last two points in the decider which cost her the semi-final match against Olympic champion Li Xuerui but the Indian ace said she is overall satisfied with the way she has played during the India Open after recovering from a nagging ankle injury.
Saina Nehwal reacts after her India Open semis loss to Li Xuerui in New Delhi on Saturday. Pics/PTI
The 26-year-old Indian suffered her 11th loss to former World No 1 Li of China in 13 meetings, going down 20-22, 21-17, 19-21 in the women's singles semi-finals on Saturday.
"I think the difference was just some points here and there but last two points she hit close to the line. That made the difference. She is playing quite close to the line that is why she is winning matches. I gave away silly errors. I left a line call. I played well. There was no problem with the way I played," she told reporters.
Satisfied despite loss
"I am very satisfied with my game. I played really well. I beat Hyun Sung Ji and Nitchaon Jindapol. I could see I was moving pretty well. Against Li last time it was a straight game at China Super Series. This time three games, I could have won the first game though.
Li Xuerui acknowledges the crowd after defeating Saina Nehwal
"I am analysing better. But because of the injury, the match practice is less. You need to play with them more. When you come out of injury and play against such tough opponents, you feel everything is new. So that is what is happening. I played two tournaments and I was good but here I was better."
Saina will next play in Malaysia and Singapore this month. In another women's singles match, Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon defeated Bae Yeon Ju of Korea 21-8, 21-11.
Meanwhile, it was a heartbreak for China's Xue Song, who was stretchered off the court after suffering a ligament tear on his right leg during the men's semi-final match against Japan's Kento Momota.
The Chinese shuttler was leading 21-17, 6-3 against the second seed Kento when he hurt himself while returning a shuttle. Kento will now take on Denmark's Viktor Axelsen, who beat Son Wan Ho of Korea 21-11, 21-11.