Shuttlers Saina, Sindhu lose in All England quarters

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Birmingham:  India’s campaign at the All England Open Badminton Championships came to an end as women’s singles shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal suffered defeats in the quarter-finals here on Friday.

Sixth seed Sindhu could not muster a challenge against Chinese Taipei’s top seed Tai Tzu Ying as she lost 14-21, 10-21 in 34 minutes. Tai looked sharper and her delectable drop shots rattled Sindhu throughout the match.

With this win, world No.1 Tai has taken an impressive 6-3 lead in career meetings with 2016 Rio Olympic silver medallist Sindhu. Tai also registered three consecutive wins over the Hyderabadi.

Eighth seed Saina fought hard but could not avoid a 20-22, 20-22 defeat to South Korean third seed Sung Ji Hyun in 54 minutes.

It was a heartbreaking loss for Saina who came close but could not pull it off at critical junctures at the Barclaycard Arena.

The win was Sung’s only second triumph in eight games against 2012 London Olympic bronze medal winner Saina.

Only two Indians — Prakash Padukone and current chief coach P. Gopichand — have managed to win titles at the world’s oldest tournament. While Padukone won in 1980, Gopichand’s feat came in 2001.

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