Kuala Lumpur: Ace shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal faced straight-games defeat in their respective quarter-final clashes to bow out of the ongoing Malaysia Masters, thus bringing an end to India’s challenge at the Super 500 tournament. While Sindhu lost to Tzu Ying Tai of Taiwan, Saina faced a crushing defeat against Spain’s Carolina Marin.
In the first quarter-final clash, World No.2 Tzu Ying defeated sixth-seeded Sindhu 21-16, 21-16 in just 36 minutes.
The match started on a furious note with Tzu taking an early lead. However, Sindhu was quick to go on the offensive and was able to draw the initial deficit against World No. 2 at 7-7.
Tzu Ying, however, took better control of the rallies and bagged four straight points to go into the mid-game interval with a two-point advantage.
After the break, the top seed shuttler from Taiwan continued to hold the advantage thanks to her superior control and won the opening game 21-16 in just 17 minutes.
In the second game, Tzu Ying improved her strokeplay and forced Sindhu to go for high-risk strokes, resulting in a handsome lead.
At the interval, Tzu had a seven-point lead over Sindhu and looked all set to march into the semi-finals. Towards the end, the World Champion did manage to save five match points as Tzu looked to relax a bit. However, the struggle was short-lived as Sindhu lost the game 12-21 and exited the Super 500 tournament.
This was Sindhu’s 12th loss against Tzu Ying and second since the World Championship in Basel in August last year.
In the next last-eight match between Nehwal and Marin, the Indian shuttler was no match for the reigning Olympic gold medallist as she lost 8-21, 7-21 in half an hour.
In the opening game, Saina conceded a five-point lead at the mid-game break as the scoreline stood 6-11. However, Marin then upped the ante and took the game giving away just two points.
In the second game also, the Indian shuttler was unable to pose any threat to the Spaniard who just went from strength to strength and stormed into the semi-finals.
Sameer Verma, Kidambi Srikanth, H.S. Prannoy and Sai Praneeth had crashed out of the tournament earlier.