Unseeded Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal's spirited run at the $350,000 Indonesia Masters came to an end on Sunday, January 28 when she lost the women's singles final to world number one Tai Tzu Ying in straight games.
Tai just needed 27 minutes to crush the London Olympic bronze medalist 21-9, 21-13 in a one-sided title match in Jakarta. The Taiwanese shuttler used her deceptive skills to great effect and never allowed her lower-ranked opponent to settle into the match.
Tai raced to a 10-2 lead in the first game, after which she never looked back. Saina struggled to catch up and fell behind 11-5 in the mid-game interval of the second game.
Notably, Sunday's win is Tai's seventh straight win over Saina. The world number 12 last won against the Taiwanese shuttler at the Swiss Open in 2013.
Saina though should take confidence from the way she has started the new season. The 27-year-old had played her first final in more than a year on Sunday after what was a mixed year in 2017.
The Indian shuttler, who had suffered an ankle injury during the recently-concluded Premier Badminton League (PBL) season, stunned second seed and compatriot PV Sindhu in the quarter-final last week.
Saina took 37 minutes to decimate Sindhu in straight games, after which she defeated top-ranked Thailand shuttler Ratchanok Intanon in the semi-final yesterday.
Saina will next be seen in action at $350,000 India Open, starting January 30.
"Played finals after one year of gap at the #IndonesiaMastersSuper500 .. Would like to thank Gopi Sir and the team for the support .. Need to work even harder," Saina wrote on Twitter after her loss to Tai on Sunday.