China Open: Saina Nehwal Settles For Silver

India’s Saina Nehwal could not retain her China Open title against the Olympic Champion Li Xuerui in the final. Saina lost 21-12, 21-15 in 39 minutes.

Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal

Li Xuerui ousts Saina Nehwal

Li Xuerui has dominated over her opponents throughout the tournament. And top seed Saina too could not provide much challenge to the Olympic champion at the China Open. Saina, who enjoyed a phenomenal tournament, could not carry her form in the most important game of the tournament.

Xuerui comfortably dominated over the Indian and took her record to 10 wins in head-to-head. The first game saw the margin of points widen every time Saina managed to pick a point from the Chinese. Eventually, the game ended 21-12 in favour of the Chinese.

Hoping to make a comeback in the second game, Saina made a solid start. Going mid-way into the game, there came a six-point gap between the Indian and Chinese as Saina led 12-6. But the tides took a different turn and in a matter of minutes the lead had been overturned. Now, Xuerui led 13-12. The next few points witnessed stiff competition and at 15 each, Xuerui put out her final trick for the Indian to win the game and the match.

The support of the home crowd and her past record against the India made it for an easy victory for Li Xuerui.

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