Hangzhou: India's singles tennis players will return empty-handed from the Asian Games for the first time since 2006 as Sumit Nagal and last edition's bronze medallist Ankita Raina exited the continental championship following quarterfinal defeats, here on Wednesday.
Up against top seed and home favourite Zhizhen Zhang, it was always going to be a Herculean task for Nagal to go past the world No. 60.
To his credit, Nagal took a set off the Chinese before losing steam as he lost 7-6(3), 1-6, 2-6 in two hours and 16 minutes.
Somdev Devvarman had won a men's singles gold in 2010 and after that Yuki Bhambri (2014, Incheon) and Prajnesh Gunneswaran (2018, Jakarta &Palembang) won a bronze each in the following editions.
In the 2006 Doha Games, Rohan Bopanna and Karan Rastogi could not reach the medal rounds in the men's singles.
Ankita, who had become only the second Indian to win a singles bronze in 2018, waged a gritty battle against Japan's Haruka Raji before losing her quarterfinal 6-3, 4-6, 4-6 in a marathon two hours and 53-minute contest.
Ramkumar Ramanathan and Rutuja Bhosale had exited the singles competition in the third and second round respectively.
Indian challenge is still alive in men's doubles and mixed doubles.