Srishty Sharon Image Courtesy:
28 Sep, 2018
With the embark of the Korea Open, a lot of expectation was tied
with Saina Nehwal, but at the quarterfinals of the Korea Open, the Indian
couldn't hold the match and eventually lost against the former World Champion
Nozomi Okuhara of Japan.
The six-day long tournament had begun on 25th Sept where Saina
reached the quarterfinals to sail India towards the title.
The fifth-seeded ace Saina Nehwal was drawn against the Japanese
shuttler Okuhara, and lost for the third time after today's three-game thriller
defeat with 21-15, 15-21, 20-22.
The marathon was an hour-long wherein the inaugural game, the clash
between both the shuttlers was head-to-head. Initially, Okuhara was on the lead
by 3-0 but the Indian snatched the lead from her nemesis and levelled the game
to 6-6. By the first break, Saina was leading by 1 point, continued to grow and
snatched straight points at 15-12, and soon gained 8 more points to win the
In the second game, Okuhara snatched the early lead from Saina and
moved ahead with 4-1. Saina leveled it at 6-6 and then 8-8, but the Japanese
moved way ahead and lead by 11-8 by the interval and continued maintaining the
lead 17-10 and pushed the game to the decider at 21-15.
In the decider, Saina managed to lead the game with a 4-1 but
Okuhara didn't give up, and soon pushed the score line to 10-11. After the
break, Saina continued her lead at 16-10 and soon grabbed 4 points that took it
to 20-16. The Japanese shuttler changed the game so dramatically and fought
back and earned 6 straight points and sealed the decider at 22-20.
It seemed like Saina lost the winning match and so the Commonwealth
Games gold medalist and Asiad 2018 bronze medalist lost in the quarterfinals at
the Korea Open 2018. With the defeat of Saina, the campaign of India at the
tourney has also come to an end.
On the other hand, Okuhara will play against Akane Yamaguchi in the