Saina Nehwal is the lone Indian survivor in the ongoing Australian Open with all other Indian competitors having been shown the exit door by their respective opponents.
The Indian defeated Chinese Sun Yu to book a place in the next round of the competition, but the Chinese put up a brave fight against the defending champion. Saina proved to be too good for Sun Yu.
The Chinese took the game to three sets after coming back to win a close second set. The final score read 21-19, 19 -21 and 21-14 with the match lasting for 78 minutes. The Indian will face another Chinese player, Wang Shixian in the quarterfinals of the competition.
But the story was different for another top Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth. He may have enjoyed a good year in the world badminton circuit, but the top Indian male shuttler was ousted from the Australian Open on Thursday.
Fourth seed Srikanth lost his round of 16 clash against the unseeded Tian Houwei from China as the Chinese got the better of the Indian in a match, which was stretched to three sets. Srikanth, after winning the first set (21-18), was just a set away from yet another quarterfinals berth, but the Chinese showed his class as he began to up his game and defeated the Indian, 21-18, 17-21 and 13-21.
To be fair, the Indian had not looked great in his first round clash against Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, who came very close to knocking the Indian out of the competition.
The Indian somehow won the game in three sets with a close third set, which could have gone either way. The score read 14-21, 21-8 and 22-20. Srikanth also lost his singles match in the Sudirman Cup few weeks back.
Parupalli Kashyap and RMV Gurusaidutt had been ousted in the first round of the Australian Open.
But this was not the only disappointment as Indian women's doubles pairing of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa were also outclassed by Indonesians Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii with the score reading 21-14, 21-10 in the round of 16. The Indonesian pair was seeded fourth in the Australian Open.
The Indian pair had comfortably won their first round encounter against the Dutch pair of Samantha Barning and Iris Tabeling.