New Delhi, Sep 24: Saina Nehwal was stunned by Germany's Juliane Schenk in the women's singles semifinals as India's campaign came to an end in the Japan Open Super Series badminton tournament in Tokyo today (Sept 24).
Fourth seeded Saina lost 19-21 10-21 to her eighth-seeded rival in a contest lasting 39 minutes. In the closely-fought first game, Saina and Schenk went neck and neck all through but at 19-19, the German nosed ahead to go one up on her more fancied Indian rival.
The opener was contested hard, but the second game turned out to be a one-sided affair after Schenk broke free from 10-10.
The German outwitted Saina with her superior net play, fetching seven net winners against the Indian's one to complete a rather facile win.
This was the eighth career face off between the two and despite today's loss, Saina leads the overall record 5-3.
In fact, world number five Saina has lost to eighth-ranked Schenk for the first time in more than two years.