Indian eves finish second in Uber Cup group, men ousted
Kunshan, China, May 18 (IANS) It turned out to be a mixed day for India’s shuttlers as the women’s team finished second to enter the quarterfinals of the Uber Cup while it was curtains for the men in Thomas Cup here on Wednesday.
Coming into the match against Japan with two 5-0 wins against Australia and Germany, the Saina Nehwal-led women’s team, however, failed to recreate the magic to go down 2-3 in their final group game.
India started the day well to go 2-0 up with Saina and double World Championships bronze medallist P.V. Sindhu registering wins in their respective singles matches.
But Japan staged a brilliant comeback to win the remaining three matches and top the group, pushing India to second in Group D at the Kunshan Sports Centre.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina thrashed Nozomi Okuhara 21-18, 21-6 in the opening singles match to take a 1-0 lead before World No.10 P.V. Sindhu doubled the lead beating Akane Yamaguchi 21-11, 21-18 in the second match.
However, Japan bounced back well in the doubles encounter as the duo of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi beat Jwala Gutta and N. Sikki Reddy 21-11, 21-8 to make it 2-1.
World No.12 Sayaka Sato then made it 2-2 as she beat No.113 Ruthvika Shivani Gadde 21-7, 21-14 in the third singles match.
The last match of the day turned out to be the decider which the Japanese duo of Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito won by defeating the combo of Ashwini Ponappa and Sindhu 15-21, 21-19, 21-16.
In the last edition, India had lost to Japan in the semi-finals to settle for a historic bronze medal.
On the other hand, the men’s team completed its pathetic Thomas Cup group stage campaign with a humiliating 0-5 loss to Indonesia.
India, having suffered the first loss to Thailand on Sunday in Group B, and Hong Kong on Tuesday, came into the match on Wednesday against Indonesia to play for pride as they were virtually out after the first two losses.
On Wednesday, World No.21 Ajay Jayaram was defeated by Christie Jonatan 14-21, 12-21 in just 37 minutes and later on in the doubles match Indonesia’s Angga Pratama and Ricky Karanda Suwardi outclassed India’s Manu Attri and Akshay Dewalkar 21-18, 21-17 in just 28 minutes to make it 2-0 in their favour.
In the men’s singles event, World No.34 Sai Praneeth gave a good fight but eventually went down to Ginting Anthony 21-18, 11-21, 15-21 in 56 minutes.
Next up, India’s B. Sumeeth Reddy and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy were also defeated by Gideon Markus Fernaldi and Hendra Setiawan 9-21, 18-21 in just 26 minutes.
In the final singles match, Sourabh Varma gave a tough fight to Ihsan Maulana Mustofa but the Indian was defeated 10-21, 22-20, 13-21 in one hour and four minutes.
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