Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap crashed out of the world badminton championships in Guangzhou, China on Friday. World No. 4 Saina lost 23-21, 21-9 to world No. 16 Yeon Ju Bae of Korea in the quarterfinals. Saina has now crashed out in the last-eight stage in her last four appearances at the world meet. Kashyap lost in three games to China's Du Pengyu 21-16, 20-22, 15-21. (All the highlights from Friday's action)
Saina entered as the favourite but could not live up to her billing. Despite a six-point advantage (17-11) in the first game, Saina let the game slip through. Her Korean opponent made a sleepy start but fought back to level matters at 21 each before taking the new two points to seal the game.
Saina looked well off the mark in the second game and trailed from the outset. Familiar failings in the quarterfinal stage of this tournament came back to haunt her as she could manage only nine points in a game dominated by Bae.
Meanwhile, Kashyap was excellent throughout his quarterfinal clash against Du Pengyu but ultimately fell short. The Indian led the first game throughout and won comfortably 21-16. Pengyu, backed by a partisan crowd, came out all guns blazing in the second game and raced to a 7-1 lead. But Kashyap fought back and leveled matters at 16-16. The thrilling game went to 20-20 but Pengyu took the match into the decider by winning the next two points.
The decider was a competitive affair. Kashyap led 11-8 at one stage but the home favourite fought back to take a 17-13 advantage. Kashyap tried to fight back but in vain as Du Pengyu took the decider and the match in one hour and 15 minutes. With this victory, the world No. 3 Chinese extended his lead in career meetings to 2-0 against the world No. 17 Kashyap.