Odense: Defending champion Saina Nehwal crashed out of the Denmark Super Series Premier after suffering a shock three-game defeat at the hands of Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun in the quarter finals of the women’s singles competition, here, on Friday.
The world No. 4 shuttler squandered a one-game lead and committed too many unforced errors to go down 21-13, 18-21, 19-21 to sixth seed Sung in a match that lasted an hour and six minutes.
Saina, who has a 4-0 record against Sung Ji Hyun before Friday’s match, had beaten the Korean in last year’s Indonesia Open but the past results did not count much as Sung matched the Indian with her strokes and stamina at the Odense Sports Park here.
In the opening game, Saina moved to a 4-1 lead early on but Sung soon turned the tables and managed a slender 11-10 lead at the break. With the Korean making a series of unforced errors, Saina reached 15-11.
Saina hit long and then committed an error of judgement to help Sung narrow it to 13-15 but the Indian did not give Sung anymore leeway as she took 20-13 lead. Sung then faltered with a flick at the net to help the Saina pocket the opening game.
Playing on the other side of the court in the second game, Saina took a little time to judge the length of the shuttle initially which allowed Sung to have a 2-0 lead. But a drop and a lucky point at the net helped her make it 3-2.