Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal’s run in the Malaysia Open ended with a straight-game loss to Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in the women’s singles competition of the USD 700,000 world tour super 750 tournament today.
The former world no 1 Saina went down 15-21 13-21 to world no 2 Yamaguchi in 36 minutes at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil, a suburb in Kuala Lumpur.
This is Saina’s sixth straight loss to the Japanese in seven meetings. The only time Saina had defeated Yamaguchi was in the 2014 China Open.
Yamaguchi, who had struggled a bit against Saina during their last meeting at the Uber Cup Final, produced a dominating show as she led 9-2.
Saina fought back to narrow the gap to 10-11 but the Japanese again jumped to an 18-11 advantage and eventually secured the opening game comfortably.
In the second game, Yamaguchi again raced to an 8-2 advantage before shutting the door on the Indian.