Saina Nehwal suffered her seventh straight defeat to world no.1 and old nemesis Tai Tzu Ying, going down in the summit clash of the $350,000 Indonesia Masters here on 28 January 2018. Playing the final of an international tournament after a year, Saina, who is coming back from an ankle injury, failed to lift the veil of deception put by Tai Tzu and went down 9- 21 13-21 in 27 minutes in a completely lop-sided final.
Tai Tzu has now defeated the former world No.1 Indian, nine times in their last 10 meetings. Saina had enjoyed early success against the Taiwanese till 2011 but the Indian has beaten her only once at the 2013 Swiss Open ever since. Tai Tzu looked very sharp from the word go and jumped to a 10-2 lead early on. Saina grabbed a point after dominating a rally but the Taiwan player entered the break with a comfortable 11-3 lead. Saina tried to make a comeback and gathered a few points after the break but couldn’t keep Tai Tzu away.
At 7-12, the duo engaged in an epic 43-shot rally which ended with Saina hitting out. She then lost a video referral to concede another point as Tai Tzu reached 14-7. Both of them erred with their returns and went wide as the score read 16-8. Saina again erred with her smash and then a magical return from the back of the court by Tai Tzu took her to 18-9.