Ratchanok Intanon, Saina Nehwal knocked out of All England

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Ratchanok Intanon (left) loses to Michelle Li at 2018 All England. (photo: Badminton England)
Ratchanok Intanon (left) loses to Michelle Li at 2018 All England. (photo: Badminton England)

Birmingham: Former women’s singles world champion and No. 3 seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand suffered a heartbreaking three-set defeat in the All England first round as she went down to Michelle Li of Canada 15-21, 21-14, 19-21 in 67 minutes.

Michelle Li who is also a strong contender for the women’s singles title for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, will play Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark in the second round.

Meanwhile, India’s Saina Nehwal sustained her eighth consecutive defeats to No. 1 seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan 14-21, 18-21. Nehwal hasn’t beaten Tai Tzu Ying since 2013.

Tai is set to meet Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in the next round.

Malaysia’s Goh Jin Wei also advanced to the second round after her opponent, He Bingjiao from China retired in the first set.

In women’s doubles, unseeded Gabriela Stoeva/Stefani Stoeva of Bulgaria pulled off an upset to beat No. 6 seeds Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu 21-11, 21-19 in 48 minutes. The Stoeva sisters will take on Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara of Japan in the second round.

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