The Indian hopes came crashing down on Friday as Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap lost their respective quarterfinals to their superior opponents in the India Open Super Series badminton championships being played at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
Yihan Wang of China, former world champion who defeated Saina at the London Olympics, continued her dominance by winning 21-16 21-14 in just 39 minutes. Saina was certainly no match for the current World No. 2 despite giving her best in front of the home crowd.
This was Yihan's eighth victory against the top Indian shuttler in the nine career meetings till date. The only win Saina had over the Chinese was in Denmark last year when Yihan retired with an injury.
On the other hand, Malaysian top seed and defending champion Lee Chong Wei also tamed Kashyap without any fight, winning 21-15 21-13 in 40 minutes to advance to the men's singles semifinal.
Saina felt that she paid for committing too many errors. "Overall it was a good game. I started well but later made many mistakes which allowed her to take the lead," said a disappointed Saina after her loss.
"If I meet her again, I hope to be better prepared and play more freely. I will try not to make the same kind of mistakes and give her the lead," she added.
Meanwhile, women's top seed and world No. 1 Li Xuerui of China sidelined No. 5 seed Bae Yeon Ju of Korea 21-7 21-15 to march into the penultimate round.
Xuerui's compatriots, No. 3 Wang Shixian and qualifier Liu Xin also won their quarterfinal encounters to complete an all-Chinese semifinal line-up. Shixian worked hard to overcome Korean Sung Ji Hyun 21-17 17-21 21-17 while Xin outplayed Indonesia' s Aprilla Yuswandari 21-15 21-8.