Saina Nehwal lost to Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Image: File)
Saina Nehwal suffered a first round exit from 2019 China Open after losing to Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan on Wednesday. The London Olympic bronze medallist lost 10-21 17-21 at the hands of the World No. 19 Ongbamrungphan in a match that lasted for 45 minutes. It was the former world number one's second successive defeat to the Thai player.
The 29-year-old Saina has struggled for form following her recovery from injuries. The Indian started her season with a win at the Indonesia Open but has failed to reach another final on the BWF circuit for the rest of the season.
India's PV Sindhu will begin her campaign against former Olympic gold medallist and World No.1 China's Li Xuerui. Last month, PV Sindhu scripted history as she became the first Indian to win a gold at the World Championships last month. She remains the country's best bet at the China Open, a title she had won in 2016.