Ace Indian shuttler and defending champion Saina Nehwal on Sunday lost the final of China Open Superseries to Li Xuerui in straight games 12-21, 15-21.
Top seeded Nehwal started off well but lost the plot mid-way and gifted the first game 12-21.
In the second game, Saina gained the much needed momentum early on with the six points lead. But surprisingly the 25-year-old then conceded seven straight points to lose the advantage.
The Chinese shuttler kept putting pressure on Saina with her all-round display and eventually sealed the 2nd game and match to pocket $700,000 by winning the Superseries Premier title.
Nehwal committed unforced errors on several occasions and at times looked listless against the local shuttler.
It took Xuerui 39 minutes to finish the game.
This is Saina’s third loss in five final appearances this year.