Saina Nehwal
Saina NehwalReuters

Saina Nehwal lost the finals of the China Open on Sunday as China's Li Xuerui defeated the top seed in straight sets. The score read 21-12 and 21-15 in favour of Li Xuerui.

There were huge expectations from Saina, who had looked in brilliant form during the China Open as she had defeated Wang Yihan in the semi finals of the competition. With Li Xuerui on the other side of the court, it was never expected to be an easy outing for Saina, who looked second best in the finals against Xuerui.

The Chinese shuttler, who had come into this final without dropping a single set, continued her dominating form as she did not give enough time for Saina to settle down in the final, where Xuerui was supported to the hilt by her home fans.

The Indian shuttler started the first game on the right note, taking a 4-1 lead, but the Chinese shuttler won some crucial points to take the lead. After that, there was no stopping Xuerui, who played an outstanding game to clinch the first game.

Xuerui was a step ahead than Sania in the final as the Chinese shuttler was anticipating her next shot brilliantly, which helped the home player enjoy an advantage on the court.

Though Saina came back strongly and began to take control during the first half of the second game, Xuerui once again showed her class and dominated the set in the later stages to clinch the match and win yet another title.

With this loss, Saina's head-to-head record against Xuerui looks even worse, as the Chinese has defeated the world number two 10 times in 12 meetings.