Saina, Kashyap exit World Championships

Guangzhou, Aug 9 (IANS) Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap Friday suffered quarterfinal defeats in their respective categories to exit the World Badminton Championships at the Tianhe Indoor Stadium here.

After reaching new heights Thursday, Saina and Kashyap failed to make most of the opportunities. Third seed Saina's medal hopes were shattered by South Korean 13th seed Yeon Ju Bae, who beat the Indian 23-21, 21-9 in 40 minutes while Kashyap lost a gruelling one hour and 15-minute battle to Chinese World No.3 Pengyu Du 16-21, 22-20, 21-15.

It was heartbreak for Kashyap as he gave away a match-point in the second game and went on to lose the men's singles match in the decider.

The 26-year-old Indian had a fantastic start winning the first game the third seed where 17 of his 21 points came in smashes. Kashyap was in his elements in the second game too, racing away to a 7-0 lead and extending it to 11-4.

However, from the halfway stage of the match, the Chinese, backed by the crowd support, suddenly found his legs and started pounding in cross-court and body smashes. Du returned the favour by hitting 15 smash winners in the second game and levelled the score at 16-all.

The Chinese overtook Kashyap but the latter levelled back and took the lead again (20-19) and was at match-point. However, Du bagged the next three points to push the match into the decider.

The third game was a see-saw battle till the halfway stage but after the break, Du took seven straight points from 8-12 to 15-12 to take the lead for the first time in the match. Kashyap had no answer for Du's net play and went on to lose the decider.

For Saina, this was probably her best chance for a women's singles medal at the world event after failing to do so and exiting in the quarters in the last three editions (2009, 2010, 2011).

The World No.4 Hyderabadi took off in brilliant fashion scooping several points with the help of 10 smash winners to go up 14-7 in the lead in the first game. The South Korean clawed back to level the game at 19-all and then reach game point (21-20). Saina pulled back a point but the Korean had more shots in her kitty and sealed the first game on her second game-point.

The form which Yeon found at the end of the first game, continued into the second as she slowly overtook Saina's lead and raced away to 9-4. With some extremely agile net play, the Korean kept extending the lead.

By this time, Saina appeared less confident and the 13th seed capitalised on it, completely shattering the Indian's game and scooping the last seven points to win the game and match.

India's last remaining hope P.V. Sindhu will play the women's singles quarterfinal later in the day.