India's campaign concluded at the All England Open 2019 badminton championships on Friday as Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal lost their respective quarter-final matches to crash out of the premier event. Saina Nehwal lost 15-21, 19-21 to World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying in the women's singles, while Kidambi Srikanth suffered a 12-21, 16-21 to World No.1 Kento Momota of Japan in men's singles. A 2015 finalist, Saina Nehwal was blown away by the Taiwanese shuttler in straight games in a 37-minute clash. The Indian shuttler is now 5-15 in head-to-head career record with Tzu-Ying and it was her 13th straight defeat against the Taiwanese, who has not lost to Saina Newal since 2015.
Tzu-Ying, who had retired at the Hong Kong Open last year due to a waist injury, seemed to have recovered well as she went about her job with consummate ease at the Arena Birmingham.
Tzu-Ying's arsenal of strokes was in full display as she rushed to a 11-3 lead. Saina produced two superb drops and won nine of the next 12 points to narrow the equation to 12-14.
Tzu-Ying then came out with a flurry of her magical strokes to move to 20-13 and sealed it comfortably.
In the second game, Saina enjoyed a five-point cushion at 8-3 in the second game after husband Parupalli Kashyap pleaded her to play disciplined badminton.
Some exceptional strokes helped the Taiwanese to gather a few points but Saina ensured a 11-8 advantage at the interval.
The Indian tried to keep Tzu-Ying at the backline with her deep tosses but fatigue, perhaps due to the bout of diarrhea ahead of the event, affected her.
Tzu-Ying's deceptive strokes often left Saina wrong-footed as she moved ahead of the Indian to 17-15. Saina made it 19-19 with a successful line call. But two precise returns on the Indian's backhand ended the match in the Taiwanese favour.
The Indian shuttler had rallied her way to a 8-21 21-16 21-13 win over Denmark's Line Kjaersfeldt in a 51-minute contest on Thursday.
(With PTI inputs)