BIRMINGHAM, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese women shuttler Wang Shixian was beaten by Indian Saina Nehwal Friday afternoon at the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships.
The match between the 2011 champion and the world No. 3 ranked Indian lasted 74 minutes, with long rallies and tenacious endeavors.
The 23-year-old Chinese adjusted her strategy to recover from 3-7 down in the first set, earning points with her rival alternatively and saving a set point. But the latter managed to finish it 23-21 with a smash.
The breathtaking second set saw Wang surging into a five-point lead, before Nehwal gained four straight points. Tied at 19-19, Wang delivered a well-masked overhead drop and then forced her rival to hit out, winning 21-19.
Chinese and Indian spectators cheered loudly as they entered the crucial third game. Wang tried to contain her rival at first, but appeared impatient later and began making more mistakes. Nehwal, on the other hand, showed her dominance gradually. Although Wang later tried her best to cut the six-point deficit to three, a last shot she sent into the net ended her dream.
Two days ago, two other top Chinese players - Olympic gold medalist and defending champion Li Xuerui and world champion Wang Yihan - fell at the first hurdle. Chinese Han Li was defeated by veteran Danish Tine Baun while Wang Shixian herself edged out her teammate Jiang Yanjiao.
Passing through the mixed zone, the world's No. 6 Chinese remained silent, apparently depressed at the result.
While Nehwal was happy with her own performance.
"I am just happy because I am playing well and there is a lot of Indian fans who are really cheering me a lot and I am really happy that I am doing well in front of them," she said.
Talking about her Chinese rival, she said: "She had a good game to come back (in the second set) when I was ahead. In the third set when I was leading 15-8 she was still able to come back strong so I really wanted to finish the match."