Saina Nehwal has been knocked out of the Indonesia Open, losing to world number one Carolina Marin in the quarterfinals in straight games 24-22, 21-11 on Friday. This is Saina's third loss against the Spaniard.
The two shuttlers looked good in the opening game, with some lovely play at the net and from the back end of the court as well. Marin ran to a 11-7 lead and was inching closer to winning the first game, but the Indian star clawed back and drew level at 14-14, after some brilliant plays, which troubled the world number one.
Saina dominated Marin in the latter stages of the game, and took a lead of 16-14, making matters much more interesting. Saina was two points away from the first game, as she led 19-18, but the world champion showed her class, and levelled at 20-20. Marin held her nerves there on, and won the highly-entertaining game 24-22.
With momentum of her side, Marin got off to a fine start in the second game, taking a lead of 4-1. There was an air of confidence in her play as she stretched the lead to 7-3, making life difficult for Saina, who was trailing 11-5 midway into the second game.
Despite Saina's valiant attempts to make a comeback, Marin went into cruise control, as she did not give much chance to her opponent in the second game, winning it 21-11.
With this win, Marin has booked her semifinals slot, and will meet Wang Yihan, who defeated Sung Ji Hyun in the other quarterfinals.