Saina Nehwal was carrying the torch for India at the All England Championships, after early exits for the rest, but the No.2 seed succumbed to Tai Tzu Ying to bow out of the tournament in the quarterfinals. With the rest of the Indian contingent bowing out in the second round and earlier, that was that as far as Indian interest is concerned at one of the premier badminton events of the year.
Coming off injuries, Saina never really looked her usual best in the first two rounds, and the rust and the lack of playing time on the court showed when she came up against Ying, who was unorthodox, but quite effective in her eventually comfortable 21-15, 21-6 victory.
Try as she may, Saina could not find any sort of rhythm in her game, and it came as no surprise when Ying took control of the proceedings. The Chinese Taipei girl looked a lot more prepared and seemed like she wanted it more, while Saina struggled from the go, puffing her cheeks out a fair few times and giving a "what do I do know?" look to her coach Vimal Kumar, who sat by the sidelines, looking worried at the path the match was taking.
The first game went by quickly enough, with Saina unable to find enough power or direction to keep Ying at bay.
In the second game Saina, at least, force a few more outrageous shots from her opponent, and with long rallies coming into play as well, it came to the superior fitness. In that, with Saina having been out for a fairly long time, Ying had the upper hand, and it showed.
The result seemed inevitable the moment Ying won the first game, and while Saina won 16 points, with sheer doggedness, there just wasn't enough in her tank on the evening to take the match to a third game or indeed march to a come-from-behind victory.