Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal's return to the court was shortlived as she crashed out in the second round of Thailand Open after being stunned by unseeded Sayaka Takahashi of Japan in the women's singles event here on Thursday. Seventh seed Saina, who returned to action after nearly two months, squandered a game advantage to lose 21-16 11-21 14-21 against Takahashi in second round duel that lasted 48 minutes.
In the absence of PV Sindhu, who withdrew in the last minute from the event, Saina's ouster marks the end of India's campaign in the women's singles.
Saina had earlier made last-minute withdrawals from Indonesia Open and last week's Japan Open because of injuries.
However, it was good news for India in the men's doubles event as the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty moved into the quarterfinals after registering a straight-game 21-17 21-19 win over Indonesian combination of Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto. The India duo will next play qualifiers Choi Solgyu and Seo Seung Jae of Korea on Friday.
Meanwhile, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal were static at fifth and eighth spots respectively in the recently released Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings. While both Sindhu and Saina held on to their places in the women's singles rankings, Mugdha Agrey and Rituparna Das climbed up six and one spot, respectively, to be placed at 62nd and 65th positions. Among the men's singles shuttlers, Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma managed to hold on to their 10th and 13th spots in the latest rankings issued on Tuesday.
B Sai Praneeth, who lost to World No. 1 Kento Momota in last week's Japan Open semifinals, moved up four places to the 20th position. HS Prannoy (31st), Parupalli Kashyap (35th), Shubhankar Dey (41st), Sourabh and Verma (44th) all moved up the in the men's singles chart.
Among other Indians in men's singles chart, Ajay Jayram is placed 67th while Lakshay Sen is at 69th spot. The men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty climbed up two places to 16th spot, while the combination of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy is static at 25. Another Indian duo -- MR Arjun and Ramachandran Shlok -- jumped seven spots to 48.
(With Inputs: PTI)