Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth, two premiers Indian shuttlers, faced first-round defeats from the season-opening Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur on January 10, 2023, continuing their dismal season.
Saina, a two-time Commonwealth Games champion who battled numerous injuries and lost her form in 2022, lost to Han Yue of China in the $1,250,000 Super 1000 competition 12-21 21-17 12-21. Saina, whose ranking has dropped to 30, battled back after dropping the first game in a women’s singles first-round match to force a decider.
The surrender of former world number one Srikanth was quieter. The unranked Kenta Nishimoto of Japan startled the world championship silver medallist, who has also been off of form lately, 19-21 14-21 in 42 minutes. The 13th-ranked Srikanth gave the first game his all, but Nishimoto eventually gained the upper hand.
This news is written by Ms. Pujari Dharani, Research Assistant, All India Legal Forum.