Saina crashes out, Srikanth in semis

Saina crashes out, Srikanth in semis
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Highlights

Defending champion Saina Nehwal's hopes of retaining her Thailand Grand Prix Gold title went up in smoke as she suffered a shocking three-game defeat...

Defending champion Saina Nehwal's hopes of retaining her Thailand Grand Prix Gold title went up in smoke as she suffered a shocking three-game defeat to Singapore's Juan Gu, while promising youngster K Srikanth entered the semifinals of the men's singles event, here on Friday.

Twenty-year-old Srikanth overcame South Korea's Wan Ho Son in straight games 21-17, 21-18 to set up a clash against Thammasin Sitthikom of Thailand. Saina, ranked number two in the world, however lost 21-13, 12-21, 18-21 to eighth seed Juan in a 53-minute match at the Nimitbutr National Stadium here. This was Saina's first defeat to the Singaporean in six encounters.

In the first game, Saina opened up a slender 4-2 lead but Juan continously put pressure on her and caught up with the Indian at 9-9. The 23-year-old from Hyderabad then registered two points to move into the breather with a two-point cushion.

Saina began the decider with a 5-2 lead but Juan turned the tables soon to hold the advantage at 11-10. Saina once again bounced back to lead 15-13 but the Singaporean showed immense character in wresting back the lead at 19-15 before shutting the door on the Indian.

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