Former champion Saina Nehwal crashed out of ongoing China Open after losing to fifth-seeded Japanese shuttler Akane Yamaguchi 21-18, 21-11 in the second round match on Thursday, November 16.
The world number 11, who was recently crowned the Senior National champion after she defeated compatriot PV Sindhu in the final of the tournament, suffered her third straight (after Denmark and French Open) and fourth defeat of the year to Yamaguchi.
Saina sparkled hopes when she was leading 17-14 in the first game, but Yamaguchi buckled up and never looked back from there. The Japanese youngster wrapped up the match in just 37 minutes.
Meanwhile, men's singles reigning national champion HS Prannoy suffered a shock defeat against Hong Kong's Lee Cheuk Yiu in straight games in his second round outing on Thursday. The world number 11 battle hard in the first game, but eventually was beaten 21-19, 21-17 by the world number 53 in just 42 minutes.
Poor scheduling to blame for Prannoy's exit
Prannoy had taken to Twitter to lash out at the poor scheduling of matches in the ongoing Superseries Premier tournament.
Notably, he completed his first round match (18-21, 21-16, 21-19 win over South Korea's Lee Dong Keun) late on Wednesday and was forced to play his second round match early on Thursday morning.
Prannoy, it seemed was completely drained after the one-hour-and-29-minute battle on Wednesday and suffered from lack of time to recover.
Dubai Superseries Finals dreams?
Meanwhile, both Saina and Prannoy, who are ranked 11 in the women's and men's singles categories, respectively are in danger of not qualifying for Dubai Superseries Finals, which will see top-eight players contesting for year-ending titles.
With Hong Kong Open being the only Superseries tournament before the year-ending tournament, both Saina and Prannoy need to quickly buckle up to stay in contention.