Malaysia Open: Saina loses to Akane Yamaguchi in pre-quarter match

Kuala Lumpur: India’s Saina Nehwal fell to Japanese second seed Akane Yamaguchi in straight games in the second round of the Malaysia Open badminton championships here on Thursday.

Saina, 28, lost 15-21, 13-21 in 36 minutes to 21-year-old Yamaguchi, who now moves into the quarter-finals.

Yamaguchi has now taken a 6-1 lead in head-to-head records against the two-time World Championships medallist Saina, who on Thursday suffered the sixth straight loss against the Japanese.

In the first game, Yamaguchi had taken a 9-2 lead but Saina closed down the deficit to one as the Indian reached the 10-point mark. However, Yamaguchi outplayed the Indian to take a 21-15 win.

She continued to dominate Saina in the second game, taking an 11-3 lead in the mid-game interval. Though Saina improved her game, Yamaguchi ran away with a 21-13 easy triumph.

Image source: Reuters