Saina Nehwal has been knocked out of the Macau Open 2016 as she lost to Yiman Zhang in straight games on Friday. The Indian lost the quarterfinals 12-21, 17-21 to end the year on a low as she will not be featuring in the World Super Series Finals in December as well.
The first game of the quarterfinals was a close one during the initial phases, with both the shuttlers going head to head and earning some crucial points. But Zhang began to dominate Saina on all ends of the court in the later stages to clinch the first game 12-21.
With Saina having gone a set down in both her earlier matches in the competition, and later coming back to win the match, there was hope for her fans that she can pull it off on Friday too.
Saina started the second game on a bright note running into an early lead, but Zhang came back strong and played some good badminton to draw level, and then the Chinese shuttler walked away with the game despite a valiant effort from Saina in the dying moments of the match to defeat the former world number one.
Saina could not come back as she had done earlier, which lead to her exit from the Macau Open. One also has to give credit to Zhang, who looked comfortable against Saina, and played some smart game at the net and the baseline to emerge victorious.
Though Saina might have reached the quarterfinals of the competition, the Macau Open did not witness the best of Saina, who to be fair, is gradually coming to full fitness after her knee surgery in August. This was her third competition after her surgery in August.
However, this Macau Open had presented Saina a huge chance to win the title as she was the big name in the competition. Other top-ranked stars did not participate in the Macau Open.