Dubai: Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal and leading male shuttler Kidambi Srikanth lost in their respective semi-finals of the $1,000,000 Badminton World Federation (BWF) Superseries Finals at the Hamdan Sports Complex here Saturday.
Saina Nehwal reacts after losing a point to Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan in the women's singles semis at the World Superseries in Dubai
While World No 4 Saina was tamed 21-11, 13-21, 9-21 in 55 minutes by World No.9 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, World No.6 Srikanth was outplayed 18-21, 9-21 in 43 minutes by reigning world champion Chen Long of China.
The 24-year-old Saina had a very good start in the first game, but 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist Tai produced an array of deceptive drop shots and battled Saina's smashes with sharp net play to win the match in 55 minutes.
In the first game, Saina produced an aggressive game that rattled Tai. The imposing Indian opened up a 8-2 early lead which became 11-5 at the break. The Hyderabadi then race away to a 15-5 lead before winning Game One 21-11.
However, World No 9 Tai pulled things back in the second game. Though Saina had a similar start, taking a 4-0 lead, she couldn't keep the momentum going.
Kidambi Srikanth returns to China's Chen Long in the men's singles semis. Pics/PTI
Tai quickly erased the four-point deficit and raced away to a five-point advantage at the break. Tai was sharper at the net as compared to Saina, who was not particularly mobile on the court.
Saina continued to make mistakes in the decider as well, allowing Tai to take a 7-2 lead. Saina's problems swelled as Tai bagged seven successive points to widen the lead 14-3.
Those seven points virtually ended Saina's victory hopes, eventually losing 9-21.
Meanwhile, Srikanth put up a credible fight against World No 1 Long in Game One before losing 18-21. In Game Two, Long consistently troubled the Indian and quickly raced to a 19-7 before winning 21-9.