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Saina exits

Jakarta: Saina Nehwal bowed out of the women’s singles event of the $ 750,000 Indonesia Open Super Series, after going down to China’s World No. 1, Li Xuerui, in the quarter-finals, here on Friday.

Saina, seeded eighth, lost 20-22, 15-21 to the Chinese shuttler in 44 minutes. With this victory, the top-seeded reigning Olympic champion has now extended her record against Saina to 7-2.

Saina gave a tough fight to her opponent in the opening game but failed to keep up the momentum in the second and went down tamely.

The first game saw both players exchanging the lead a few times before they were tied at 5-5. Xuerui, the All England champion, then surged ahead to open up a 10-6 lead.

Saina fought back, bagging four consecutive points to catch up her rival at 10-10. From being tied at 12-12, the Chinese time and again got a slight edge, but the shuttler from Hyderabad kept clawing back and made it 20-20.