India’s ace badminton player, Saina Nehwal, on Thursday crashed out of Japan Open in the second round after losing to unseeded local player, Minatsu Mitani, 21-13, 21-16.
The world number 1 badminton star Nehwal never looked comfortable against her Japanese opponent, ranked 18th in the world, who has been in an unprecedented form lately. She had beaten another Indian PV Sindhu in the first round on Wednesday.
Despite her three-game match against Sindhu a day earlier, Mitani looked relatively stronger and fitter against Nehwal.
The only Indian left in the tournament being held in Tokyo is Olympics quarterfinalist Parupalli Kashyap, who had caused an upset in the second round match by defeating 3rd seed K. Srikanth 21-11, 21-19 to enter the last eight.
Nehwal’s shock defeat in the second round brought the end of India’s challenge as the much-talked about doubles team of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa had already been knocked out of the tournament on Wednesday.