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Nehwal bows out

Seoul: The Indian challenge came to an end in the Korea Open Super Series Premier badminton tournament after Saina Nehwal was stunned in the quarter finals by China’s Li Han here Friday.

The third-seeded Indian went down 14-21, 21-15, 12-21 in a contest that lasted 59 minutes.

It was quite an upset for Saina, who had beaten Han in their previous two encounters.

The world No. 26 Chinese seemed up for the challenge from the word go and matched Saina's trademark smashes besides cornering her with some deft net-play to take the opening game with ease.

Saina came back strongly in the second to draw level but Han showed a lot of tenacity to outplay the Indian in the deciding third game.

The Chinese matched Saina stroke for stroke before edging ahead to end her losing streak against the world No. 3.

Li forced Saina to commit errors, extending the rallies, and won the next eight of the nine points played to bag the match and book a place in the semi-finals where she will next face Ji Hyun Sung of South Korea. (PTI)