Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth make first round exits from Malaysia Open


Ace Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth`s woeful run continued as they suffered first round exits from the season-opening Malaysia Open here on Tuesday.

Two-time Commonwealth Games champion Saina, who endured a tough 2022, battling multiple injuries and a lack of form, went down 12-21 21-17 12-21 to Han Yue of China in the USD 1,250,000 Super 1000 tournament.

Having lost the first game, Saina, who has slipped to world number 30, fought back to force a decider in a women`s singles first round match.

However, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist fell behind as Han built a sizable lead to take the fixture comfortably.

Also read: Saina Nehwal named for selection trials of Asian Mixed Team Championship

Former world number one Srikanth`s surrender was tamer. The world championship silver medallist, who has also been struggling for form recently, was stunned by the unseeded Kenta Nishimoto of Japan 19-21 14-21 in 42minutes.

Srikanth, ranked 13th, fought hard in the opening game, but Nishimoto managed to take the lead.

The two shuttlers were tied at 12-12 in the second game but the Japnese ran away with the contest from there.

It was also curtains for Akarshi Kashyap who was outplayed 10-21 8-21 by Wen Chi Hsu of Chinese Taipei in her women`s singles opener.

Later in the day, the women`s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand will take on Hong Kong`s Yeung Nga Ting and Yeung Pui Lam, and, Krishna Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Panjala will open their campaign against South Korea`s Kang Min Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae in the men`s doubles first round.

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