Indonesia Masters final: Sour end for Saina Nehwal as she loses to Tai Tzu

Updated: Jan 29, 2018, 10:35 IST | PTI

Indian shuttler goes down 9-21, 13-21 to World No. 1 Tai Tzu in Indonesia Masters final; her seventh straight defeat to Taiwanese stalwart

Indias Saina Nehwal returns to Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying  during the Indonesia Masters final at the Istora Stadium in Jakarta yesterday
India's Saina Nehwal returns to Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying  during the Indonesia Masters final at the Istora Stadium in Jakarta yesterday  Pics/AFP, PTI

Saina Nehwal suffered her seventh straight defeat to World No. 1 and old nemesis Tai Tzu Ying, going down in the summit clash of the Indonesia Masters here yesterday. Playing the final of an international tournament after a year, Saina, who is coming back from an ankle injury, failed to lift the veil of deception put by Tai Tzu and went down 9-21, 13-21 in 27 minutes in a completely lop-sided final.

Tai Tzu Ying atop the podium with her gold medal. pics/AFP, PTI
Tai Tzu Ying atop the podium with her gold medal. Pics/AFP, PTI

Tai Tzu has now defeated the former World No. 1 Indian nine times in their last 10 meetings. Saina had enjoyed early success against the Taiwanese till 2011 but the Indian has beaten her only once at the 2013 Swiss Open ever since. The World No. 12 was no match for Tai Tzu, who toyed with Saina with her supreme agility and deceptive returns. The Indian also committed too many unforced errors.

Tai Tzu looked very sharp from the word go and jumped to a 10-2 lead early on. Saina grabbed a point after dominating a rally but the Taiwan player entered the break with a comfortable 11-3 lead. She produced a tight net return to move to game point and unleashed a backhand return to seal the opening game. In the second game, Tai Tzu continued to dominate the proceedings with her deceptive returns. She produced some awkward angles from difficult positions and showed such immaculate control to leave Saina completely flabbergasted.

Another weak return went wide for Saina, giving Tai Tzu an advantage of 11-5 at the break. Saina tried to serve high next and it worked as Tai Tzu hit long. But the Indian made a service error and hit out again to allow her opponent to lead 16-9. Saina then produced a superb return but two long shots by her handed 10 match points to Tai Tzu. The Indian saved two but eventually a long shot helped Tai Tzu to walk away with the crown.

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