- Saina Nehwal now has three Asian Championships bronze medals as she had reached the semi-final of the 2010 and 2016 editions as well.
- HS Prannoy is expected to move up the BWF ladder after his bronze medal-winning performance in Wuhan.
India's campaign at the ongoing Badminton Asia Championships 2018 in Wuhan, China ended Saturday, April 28 as semi-finalists Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy lost their respective women and men's singles matches.
World number 12 Nehwal lost to defending champion Tai Tzu Ying 27-25, 21-19 in a fiercely-fought, 45-minute encounter, in which both the shuttlers pushed themselves to the limits in a bid to emerge on top.
It was also Saina's ninth straight defeat to Tai (11-5 overall) but the Indian shuttler can take a lot of heart from her performance.
Fought like a tigress! @NSaina wins bronze?for India ??in the WS.— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) April 28, 2018
It was a sheer delight to watch the way you played, she went down in the semis to defending champion and No 1 seed Tai Tzu Ying 25-27; 18-21. Kudos Champ! #BestofBadminton #BAC2018 pic.twitter.com/6J9bfmmdSJ
The 28-year-old, who had headed to Wuhan on the back of her gold medal-winning performance, was giving Tai a lot of opportunities to use her forehand prowess but buckled up and attacked her backhand side more after the mid-game break.
Saina's renewed confidence was visible in her game Saturday as she was quickly fought back after a few unforced errors from Tai.
She was trailing 6-11 in the first game but came back strong towards the end of the game. However, the world number two held her nerves even as the two shuttlers traded game points before the Indian shuttler hit one wide to concede the advantage.
Saturday's loss meant Saina settled for her third bronze medal at the Asian Championships. She had won bronze in the 2010 and 2016 editions of the continental tournament.
Prannoy stumbles against Chen
Earlier in the day, Prannoy lost to reigning Olympic champion Chen Long in straight games (21-16, 21-18) but finished with a maiden bronze medal in Wuhan.
The 25-year-old, who had stunned world number two Son Wan Ho on Friday, tested the local favorite but made unforced errors at crucial moments to let the latter slip away with leads.
Notably, Rio Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu and world number five Kidambi Srikanth had slipped out of medal contentions after losing their quarter-final matches Friday, April 27.