Saina fails to reach Indian Open semi-final

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Hyderabad, Mar 27 (ANI): India's ace shuttler Saina Nehwal bowed out of the Indian Open on Friday after losing a tough quarter-final encounter of the Women's singles badminton to Malaysia's Julia Pei Xian.

World number nine, Saina lost to fifth-seed, Xian 21-12, 13-21, 18-21.

This was the fourth encounter between the two players, in which Saina leads 3-1.

Saina was put on the back foot right from the start as her Malaysian rival opened up a 4-0 lead. But, Saina came back strongly to draw level at 6-6 and then grabbed the lead at 10-13. The Malaysian pocketed two more points but Saina soon raced away, winning the game 21-12.

But in the next game the Malaysian walked away with the second game 21-13. The third game witnessed a see-saw battle as the duo moved neck and neck from 6-6 to 14-14.

The home favourite put up a brave fight and narrowed the gap to 19-18 but the Malaysian had the last laugh. (ANI)

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