A day after London Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal was eliminated at the BWF World Championships in Basel, coach and husband P Kashyap has slammed the umpiring in her round of 16 clash against Mia Blichfeldt.
Nehwal’s run of consecutive quarter-final appearances at the Worlds came to an end as she suffered a three-game loss to world No 12 Blichfeldt of Denmark in the pre-quarterfinals.
The eighth seeded Indian lost 21-15, 25-27, 12-21 against 22-year-old Blichfeldt in a marathon women’s singles match that lasted an hour and 12 minutes on Thursday. In the second game, that saw 52 points being played, Nehwal had two match points while also saving five game points.
“Two match-points snatched away by bad umpiring,” Kashyap tweeted.
“And numerous wrong decisions. Unbelievable that there are no reviews on other courts at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. When will our sport get better? Sick [of it],” he added.
The match was played on court No 4 and there was no telecast. And since it was not one of the two courts which are being telecast, there was no review system in place as well.
Nehwal also tweeted soon after, expressing her dismay at the umpiring.
“Still can’t believe 2 match points which the umpire overruled in the second game,” the former world No 1 said. “And the umpire tells me in the [middle] of second game “let the line umpires do their job” and I don’t understand suddenly how the umpire overruled the match points. Very sick.”
Kashyap, the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, has been on the coach’s chair for Nehwal during the ongoing World Championships. His claims cannot be verified at the moment as there was no broadcast of the match on television or online.
Nehwal boasts of a silver (in 2015 Jakarta) and a bronze medal (2017 Glasgow) at the World Championships. Her compatriot and two-time silver medallist PV Sindhu, however, sailed into the quarterfinals with an easy 21-14, 21-6 win over ninth seed Beiwan Zheng of the United States.
Sindhu will now face second seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals.
Here’s how the second game panned out between Nehwal and Blichfeldt.
(With PTI inputs)