Kuala Lumpur:Saina Nehwal's hopes of making a dream start to her campaign received a jolt as she lost her first match of the World Super Series Masters Final, against Danish Tine Rasmussen, in straight-games at Kota Kinabalu on Thursday.
World number 10 Saina went down 18-21, 14-21 to world number two Rasmussen in a match that lasted for just 27 minutes.
The Hyderabadi will take on fourth seed French Pi Hongyan in her next match before locking horns with sixth seed Mew Choo Wong of Malaysia.
Saina was lagging behind right from the start in the first game but she fought her way back to grab a two point lead at 7-5.
Rasmussen, however, drew level soon and they were neck-to-neck till 13-13 before the Danish ace showed her class and pocketed five straight points to take 18-13 lead. Saina tried her best but the game slipped through her fingers.
The second set was even worse as Saina couldn't match Rasmussen's smashes and kept on conceding points, and in a flash the reigning All England Champion extended her lead from 11-8 to 13-9 and then to 19-10 before sealing the match 21-14.
"I am really disappointed. I just couldn't control the game. I made a lot of mistakes and didn't play well at all," Saina said after the match.
"I was leading 7-5 at one point but just blew it away, I am really disappointed with my own performance today," she said.
"Both my next opponents are good rally players and I have to play really well and beat them to enter the next round," she added.