Beijing: Former world number one Saina Nehwal crashed out of the ongoing China Open after she suffered a first-round defeat against Sung Ji-Hyun of Korea here on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old was swept aside 20-22, 21-8, 21-14 by her South Korean opponent in a closely-contested match that lasted 48 minutes.
Clinching the first game in a nail-biting clash, Nehwal set the tone right against highly experienced Ji-Hyun.
The South Korean shuttler, however, made a solid comeback and attacked the Indian player right from the beginning of the second game. She clinched three consecutive points to take an early 4-1 lead.
The Asian Games Bronze medalist failed to cope with rising the point difference as the Korean completely outplayed her to register a dominating 21-8 victory in the second game.
The deciding game started with the Korean shuttler again taking the initial lead of three points.
After trailing the game 6-14, Nehwal tried to gain some momentum as she clinched a couple of points and fought hard to reduce the point difference to 14-19.
The Korean player, however, gave no further chance of revival to the Indian shuttler as she clinched the deciding game 21-14.
Meanwhile, ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu edged past Saena Kawakami of Japan 21-15, 21-13 to move into the second round of the tournament.