World Number 9 Saina lost to Cai in straight games to bow out in Round of 32 stage of tournament. The 22nd ranked Chinese defeat Nehwal 21-9, 21-12 to progress into the last 16.
Earlier, PV Sindhu too had suffered same fate as he too had crashed out in the first round of the tournament. Sindhu lost to World No. 42 Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei on Tuesday. The World No. 6, who made early exits in China, Korea and Denmark, lost 13-21, 21-18, 19-21 to Pai in a match that lasted for 74 minutes.
However, in men’s singles, Saina’s husband and personal coach Parupalli Kashyap registered a comfortable straight-game victory over Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin.
The Indian outsmarted his Thai opponent 21-14 21-3 in 43 minutes. He will face seventh seed Victor Axelson of Denmark in the second round.
The mixed doubles pair of Pranav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy also made a first-round exit. The duo went down 14-21 14-21 to Wang Chi-Lin and Cheng Chi Ya of Chinese Taipei.
The 29-year-old Saina has been going through a tough phase with regards to her fitness since claiming the Indonesia Masters in January. She made three consecutive first-round exits before reaching the quarterfinal of the French Open last month.