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Indian challenge ends at BWF Super Series Finals

India’s challenge ended at the BWF Super Series Finals after Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth lost their respective women’s and men’s singles matches in contrasting styles here on Friday.

Having won one match and lost one, Saina had to win her final league match against Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei on Friday but she squandered one-game advantage to go down 21-16 18-21 14-21 in a battle that lasted 50 minutes to bow out of the tournament.

Earlier, Srikanth, who had already exited after losing on Thursaday’s match, continued with his poor run of form as he suffered his third successive defeat in the men’s singles, losing to Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien-chen 17-21 13-21 in a 32-minute contest.

With Saina losing two out of three matches, Carolina Marin and Nozomi Okuhara have advanced to the next round. Three players have finished with one win and two losses each. Saina missed the cut after taking into account of games won versus games lost.

Okuhara, having won all three matches, emerged on top while Marin’s record of 3-4 (-1) stands to be the second best in the group. The Olympic bronze medallist Saina had everything to play for on Friday and she showed her determination in a draining hard-fought match, but unfortunately she failed to sustain till the end. The opening game was a closely-fought affair. Although Saina opened up a 3-1 lead, her rival kept breathing down her neck to catch her up first at 5-5 and then at 9-9 before the Indian went into the break with a slender 11-9 edge.
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