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Saina Dropped Hopes

th (41)World No.1 shuttler Saina Nehwal went down 13-21, 21-17, 22-20 in her women’s singles semifinal to reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui at the $500,000 Malaysia Open Super series Premier here on Saturday.The Chinese beat the third seeded Indian in a marathon match that lasted an hour and eight minutes with the top seed prevailing at the Putra Stadium.

World number one Saina squandered a one-game advantage as she lost 21-13, 17-21, 20-22 to world number three Li in a gruelling semi final that lasted one hour and eight minutes at Putra Stadium. The Indian ace squandered a one-game lead and lost 21-13, 17-21, 20-22 to the world No. 3 in 68 minutes at the Putra Stadium.Saina, who won the India Open Super Series last week, again failed to come good against Xuerui, who has now won nine of their 11 meetings.

The Hyderabadi, who has been in good form since winning the China Open last year, played out of her skin in a match where fortunes fluctuated, but it was Xuerui who emerged victorious.Saina, was 19-18 up, but the Xuerui eventually showed better nerves in a battle of attrition to grab a place in the final.