The two-time World Championship medallist was able to bridge the gap to 17-19, but Ongbamrungphan held her nerve to take the first game
Saina Nehwal during her 17-21, 21-16, 13-21 defeat to Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan at Tokyo yesterday. Pic/AP; PTI
Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal was knocked out of the World Championship after going down to Busanan Ongbamrungphan in a hard-fought women’s singles pre-quarterfinals here on Thursday.
The 32-year-old went down 17-21, 21-16, 13-21 to her Thai opponent, who extended her head-to-head record against the Indian to 5-3.
Saina was immediately put under pressure by Ongbamrungphan as she raced to 11-3 in the opening game.
The two-time World Championship medallist was able to bridge the gap to 17-19, but Ongbamrungphan held her nerve to take the first game.
The late surge in the previous game gave Saina confidence as the former World No.1 led 11-7 at the break. Playing aggressively, she continued to dictate terms, forcing the match into decider. The third game was played on an even keel until the interval, but Ongbamrungphan started to gain momentum and opened up a five point lead as Saina slowly started losing steam.
In the end, the 26-year-old Ongbamrungphan, who has now won the last five matches against Saina, had seven match points as she sealed her quarter-final berth.
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