Orleans Masters: Saina Nehwal crashes out in the first round

Struggling with her form, Saina Nehwal went down 16-21, 14-21 to qualifier Nesilhan Yigit of Turkey in the first round of the Orleans Masters.

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Payal Debnath
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Orleans Masters: Saina Nehwal crashes out in the first round | Sportz Point

Struggling with her form, Saina Nehwal went down 16-21, 14-21 to qualifier Nesilhan Yigit of Turkey in the first round of the Orleans Masters BWF Super 300 badminton tournament in France on Wednesday.

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Orleans Masters: Saina Nehwal crashes out in the first round | Sportz Point

Saina Nehwal didn't make it to the second round. Image- The Hindu

Saina, who returned to the court after being out of a few tournaments, was beaten 21-16, 21-14 in just 39 minutes. She has also slipped to the 32nd position in the BWF rankings. Her right knee was bandaged and did not appear in form even once in the entire match of the Orleans Masters. Saina started slowly and fell behind early on. The Indian badminton player tried to put up a fight and closed the gap to 11-13 but Nesilhan Yigit, ranked 33 places behind Saina, was quick to snuff out the challenge and comfortably won the first game.

In the second game, Saina Nehwal once again trailed 0-4 as Nesilhan Yigit quickly put the Indian under pressure. The Turk did not concede the lead to the Indian at any stage as she wrapped up game and match. Saina Nehwal was playing her first tournament since the Indonesia Masters in January. The Olympic medallist missed the German Open, All England Open, Swiss Open and the Madrid Spain Masters tournaments.

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Meanwhile, Mithun Manjunath, Priyanshu Rajawat, and Tanya Hemnath made it to the last-16 of the Orleans Masters. While Sameer Verma, Aakarshi Kashyap, and Tasnim Mir also made first-round exits. India's Manjunath beat higher-ranked Victor Svendensen of Denmark 24-22 25-23 while Rajawat beat compatriot Kiran George 21-18 21-13. Manjunath will next face Taipei's Zheng Yu, who managed to advance after fifth seed Rasmus Gemke retired in the second game. Rajawat, on the other hand, will take on top seed Kenta Nishimoto of Japan. Nishimoto beat Taipei's Lee Chia-hao 21-18, 21-11 in the second round.

At the same time, Akarshi lost to Natsuki Nidaira of Japan by 8-21, 21-13, 8-21. While Tasnim Mir lost to German shuttler Yvonne Li 22-20, 13-21, 5-21. 

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