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Thailand Open: Saina Nehwal Crashes Out In Second Round, India’s Campaign In Women’s Singles Ends

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Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal returned to the Thailand Open with high hopes but she lucked out on Thursday. She lost to World No.12 Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in the pre-quarterfinals, leading to her exit from the ongoing tour, scheduled to go on till January 17.

It was a neck-and-neck challenge with the final tally of 21-23, 21-14, 21-16 and a hard-fought second-round defeat for Nehwal who was playing her first tournament since the All England Open in March last year. Earlier on Wednesday, Nehwal won over Malaysia’s Kisona Selvaduray in straight sets to advance to the second round of the event. Just two day ago it was reported that the former world no 1 had tested positive for COVID-19 in the bio-bubble in Bangkok and reportedly pulled out from the tournament as well. However, later the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) clarified the misunderstanding saying that it was a false positive. Read about it here.

Also Read: Parineeti Chopra Replaces Shraddha Kapoor In Saina Nehwal Biopic

With Nehwal’s loss, India’s campaign in women’s singles has come to an end as the Olympic silver-medallist PV Sindhu also suffered a defeat in the first round itself. In the opening round match, she lost 21-16, 24-26, 13-21 to world No.18 Mia Blichfeldt on Wednesday.

Earlier, the two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nehwal had expressed displeasure at the restrictions imposed by the BWF as part of its coronavirus protocols in the secured bio-bubble. She had tweeted that physiotherapists and trainers cannot meet the athletes during the entire tour, even after everyone has tested negative.

Also Read: Thailand Open: Carolina Marin Criticises Food Quality, “Not Appropriate Food For Athletes”

In 2018, Nehwal became the first Indian woman to win an Asian Games medal in the women’s singles in badminton. Her past achievements include an individual gold in the 2010 CWG in New Delhi and mixed team silver and bronze in 2010 and 2006 respectively. She also received the Youth Icon award in 2015.

Feature Image Credit: latest-news-healines.com

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