Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth suffered straight-game defeats in their opening women’s and men’s singles matches respectively at the BWF World Super Series Finals in Dubai on Wednesday.
World No.2 Saina went down to Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara 14-21, 6-21 in just 35 minutes in the Group A match at the Hamdan Sports Complex. The Indian will next face Spain’s Carolina Marin on Thursday.
On the other hand, World No.9 Srikanth lost 13-21, 13-21 to Japan’s Kento Momota in 41 minutes in a Group B match. The 22-year-old Indian will next face Viktor Axelsen of Denmark on Thursday.
In the women’s singles match, Okuhara went into a 5-1 lead early on but Saina soon engaged her rival on long rallies well to make it 8-8.
Saina conceded a few unforced errors which helped Okuhara to lead 17-12. Saina then grabbed two points but a couple of errors again helped the Japanese to the game point. The Japanese pocketed the game when Saina hit long again.
The change of side didn’t change Saina’s fortune as her opponent cruised to 11-3 lead in a few minutes to put pressure on Sania.
From there on, there was no looking back for Okuhara as she went on to win the game 21-6 at ease and pocket the match.
In the men’s singles match, Momota produced a controlled aggressive game and prepared his defence to dominate the match completely. The Indian was nowhere close to his opponent t as the Japanese won the game 21-13.
In the second game, Srikanth continued to search for his ‘A’ game but it was the sure class from Momota that denied the Indian the upper hand.
Momota constantly looked to trouble Srikanth with his steep and angled returns and with it he won the game 21-13 and take the match.