Saina Nehwal was knocked out of the tournament by lower-ranked Cai Yan Yan of China on Wednesday. In a one-sided 1st-round match that lasted just 23 minutes, Saina was beaten 9-21, 11-21.
Saina Nehwal has been struggling for form in the 2nd half of the 2019 season. Saina had faced 3 successive 1st-round exits following a disappointing run at World Championships. It looked like Saina was hitting form when she reached the quarter-finals at French Open last month but the latest result in Fuzhou comes as a big cause of concern.
Saina will be in action in Hong Kong and Korea later this month but she is unlikely to qualify for the 80-woman BWF World Tour Finals, scheduled to begin from December 11 in Guangzhou.
On the other hand, PV Sindhu will make the World Tour Finals despite not featuring in the top 8 of Race to Guangzhou rankings, thanks to her maiden World Championship title.
Sindhu was ousted after she lost a hard-fought 1st-round match to lower-ranked Pai Yu Po 12-21, 21-18, 19-21. Sindhu’s form has been on a downward spiral as well as the Indian shuttler hasn’t gone past the 3rd round on the tour since winning the gold at World Championships in August.
Meanwhile, World No. 25 Parupalli Kashyap progressed to the 2nd round at China Open. Kashyap defeated lower-ranked Sitthikom Thammasin of Thailand 21-14, 21-13. He will take on 7th seed and former world champion Viktor Axelsen in the 2nd round on Thursday.
In mixed doubles, there was disappointment for India as Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy were knocked out afer straight-game defeat to Wang Chi-lin and Chen Chi Ya of Chinese Taipei.
Later in the day, India’s men’s singles stars Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma will be in action. While Praneeth, World No. 11, takes on Tommy Sugiarto, Verma takes on Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong.