Seoul, September 28: India's campaign in the Korea Open badminton tournament ended after Saina Nehwal frittered away four match points before going down 21-15, 15-21, 20-22 to Japan's Nozomi Okuhara in the quarterfinals.
Saina was the only Indian left in the fray of the $600,000 Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 500 Series Tournament, after the early defeats of compatriots -- Swiss Open champion Sameer Verma and rising star Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka.
The two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist had looked in good form in the tournament, defeating Korea's Kim Hyo Min in the round-of-16 and then ending the hopes of another local favourite -- qualifier Kim Ga Eun in the pre-quarterfinals.
But Okuhara, a former world No.1 from Japan proved too good for Saina in the last-eight clash.
Okuhara's resilience came to the fore as she saved four match points in a thrilling contest.
The 28-year-old Indian had a great chance to avenge her defeats to the Japanese at the 2017 World Championships and the recent 2018 Asian Games, but it was just not her day.