Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Aug 14 (ANI
): In a major upset, Indian ace shuttler Saina Nehwal
crashed out of the Rio Olympics after suffering a straight game defeat against world number 61 Maria Ulitina in her second and final women's singles group stage contest here on Sunday.
Saina, the bronze medallist at the 2012 London Games, was beaten 18-21, 19-21 by unheralded Ukrainian opponent in a magnificent game of badminton at Riocentro-Pavilion 4.
After clinching the opening game, a determined Ulitina kept mounting pressure on Saina, who had been vociferously backed by the crowd, at all points.
Despite trailing 15-17 to Saina in the second game, the Ukrainian held her nerve and restored parity quickly before ensuring her place in the round of 16 with a superb cross court hit.
Following the exit of Saina, Indian hopes now rest with PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth who will play their respective group stage matches shortly.
India, which have sent their largest-ever contingent of 119 athletes in Rio Olympics
, are yet to open their medal account in the ongoing Summer Games. (ANI