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Nehwal ousted

Birmingham: Saina Nehwal's campaign in the All-England Open Badminton Championships came to an end, here, on Friday. The seventh seeded Indian went down 17-21, 10-21 to fourth seeded Shixian Wang of China in 43 minutes in the quarter finals.

On Thursday, Nehwal laboured past American Beiwen Zhang in testing three games to reach the quarters.

Saina defeated the American qualifier 24-22, 18-21, 21-19 in an hour in the second round.

Saina said that she was struggling to sleep properly because her room was cold.

Meanwhile, Ratchanok Intanon, the youngest ever world singles champion, moved to within one win of a probable showdown with Li Xuerui, the Olympic champion, before admitting her patchy form is scary. The two women battled into the quarter finals on Thursday, with the 19-year-old coming from behind for the second day in succession and then producing a confessional about her mental state.

At one stage, Ratchanok was a game and 11-11 down before getting past Han Li, the world No. 19 from China, by 18-21, by 21-14, 21-11. The day before she was within three points of defeat against the Singaporean Gu Juan.

Honing her survival instincts in this way despite a patchy performance may be crucial, as the seven months since she overcame Li in the world final have, she admits, been hard to handle.

“Everyone has been trying to beat me and I have been putting myself under pressure and been scared of the losses,” said the Thai. “So I try to concentrate on practising. I try not to think about the world championships because I am not the world No. 1.”