Wuhan (China): The Indian challenge at the $200,000 Badminton Asia Championships came to an end following the women's singles quarterfinal losses of Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu here on Sunday.
World No.1 Saina lost to Chinese Taipei's Tzu Ying Tai in three tough games, and eighth seed Sindhu went down to reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China in like manner at the Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium.
Fifth seed Tzu defeated World No.1 Saina 16-21, 21-13, 21-18 in 55 minutes to level her head-to-head to 5-all against the second seed. This is Tzu's third successive victory over Saina.
Saina started well by clinching the first game but could not sustain the momentum as she gifted the second game to her opponent and ran out of steam towards the end of the third.
Later, Sindhu, who is making a return to the circuit following a three-month injury-layoff, took off in brilliant fashion by easily taking the first game 21-11 against the top seed.
However, the Olympic champion fought back to take the second game 21-19 and push the match into the decider. In the third game, Xuerui totally dominated Sindhu to win the game 21-8 and the match in 52 minutes.
This was Xuerui's second win over the Indian in three meetings.