Odense (Denmark): India's defending champion Saina Nehwal lost a marathon women's singles quarterfinal against Ji Hyun Sung of South Korea in the Denmark Open Super Series Premier here on Friday.
The sixth seeded Ji overcame the World No.4 Indian 13-21, 21-18, 21-19 in a thrilling one hour and six minute-long encounter to enter the semifinals at the Odense Sports Park. This was the South Korean's first win over the Hyderabadi in five meetings.
Saina was clearly the better player in the opener, dominating the first game in every sector and winning more points than her opponent at the net as well as with smashes.
Having got a feel of the atmosphere, the South Korean slowly started settling down in the second set and matched Saina shot-for-shot. Leading 14-12, Ji then notched five straight points to almost seal the game. The Indian tried clawing back by negating three game points, but Ji pushed the match into the decider.