Defending champion Lakshya Sen’s title defence came to an end after he suffered a narrow defeat against world No. 20 Rasmus Gemke of Denmark in a thrilling three-game match at the Yonex-Sunrise India Open Super 750 tournament here on Thursday.
World No. 12 Sen squandered an opening game advantage to go down fighting 21-16, 15-21, 18-21 to Gemke in a second-round match that lasted an hour and 21 minutes.
Saina Nehwal also found the going tough against Olympic champion Chen Yufei, surrendering 9-21, 12-21 in just 32 minutes.
Earlier, defending champions Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty pulled out of men’s doubles after the former suffered a hip injury. “Satwik pulled his left hip adductor, so we decided to concede the match,” Chirag said.
The world No. 5 pair were scheduled to take on China’s Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi, who had claimed the BWF World Tour Finals in December last year, in the round of 16.
Satwik and Chirag had claimed a semi-final finish at the Malaysia Open last week.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly lost 9-21, 16-21 to Chinese Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu in the women’s doubles pre-quarter finals.