Guangzhou (China), Aug 9: The elusive World Championship medal once again slipped through Saina Nehwal's fingers as the Indian ace suffered a straight-game defeat against Korean Yeon Ju Bae in the quarterfinals of the prestigious event here today.
The London Olympics bronze-medallist, a quarterfinalist in the last two editions as well, was erratic and could not hold her nerves as she went down rather tamely 21-23 9-21 in a 40-minute match at the Tianhe Indoor Stadium.
Kashyap, who was also playing at the adjacent court, played out of his skin but still could not get across world number three Du Pengyu of China. His gallant fight ended with a 21-16 20-22 15-21 loss in an energy-sapping contest which lasted one hour and 15 minutes here.
Saina played an aggressive game in the opening match and opened up a 11-7 lead at the interval. Her baseline smashes got her a lot of points as the Indian was in control of the match.
However, Bae, who looked off-colour initially as she struggled with her strokes and reach, slowly narrowed down the lead and clawed back at 19-19. Saina was struggling with the drift as she lost a lot of points hitting wide. The Indian also faltered at the net.
From nowhere, Bae not only came into the contest but also exerted the pressure on the Indian and after a hard fight won the opening game when Saina's shuttle kissed the net and toppled outside the court.
Losing the opening game dented Saina's confidence as she failed to put any resistance to Bae strokes. Bae, on the other hand, was confidence personified as she played like a champion and decimated the Indian.
The left-handed Korean dominated the proceedings completely as after a 5-5 initial fight, she moved to the interval with a 11-6 lead. The Korean's strokes were powerful and drops deceptive as she reduced Saina to a bystander.
National coach Pullela Gopichand, who was also monitoring the Kashyap's match at the adjacent court, also could not lift Saina's spirits at the break as the Indian completely resigned in the final moments of the game.
Bae, on the other hand, held her nerves and wrapped up the match quickly to seal her place at the semifinals.