Thomas and Uber Cup: Indian women cruise ahead, men knocked out after second defeat

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Thomas and Uber Cup: Indian women cruise ahead, men knocked out after second defeat

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Arun S Kaimal


Indian men got knocked out after losing 2-3 to Hong Kong in their second Thomas Cup match of Group B at Jiantsu in China on Tuesday. Indian women, on the other hand, continued their impressive display with another resounding 5-0 win in Group D, this time against Germany to make it two wins in two.

Ajay Jayaram lost to World No.11 Ka Long Angus NG 13-21, 12-21 in a match which lasted just 31 minutes. In the men's doubles, Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy looked to be in control of the first game against Or Chin Chung and Chun Man Tang. However, they surrendered a 19-14 lead as their opponents won seven points in a row to claim the opening game. The second game was a one-sided affair with the Hong Kong pair cruising to a 21-12 win.

Sai Praneeth, like he did in the previous game, pulled one back for India in his singles match against Yun Hu. The Indian shuttler produced a wonderful performance against a much higher-ranked opponent and won the sets in tie-break 23-21, 23-21.

However, Hong Kong took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the tie when Tsz Kit Chan and Cheuk Him Law won their game against Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and his new partner Chirag Shetty 21-10, 21-11.

World No.180 Sourabh Varma pulled off a huge upset over Wei Nan, who is ranked 17 in the world. Despite taking a 14-10 lead in the first game, Varma lost it 17-21, however, he fought back to win the second game 21-19. In the deciding third game, the 23-year-old Indian cruised to an easy 21-9 win. The match ended 2-3 in favor of Hong Kong, condemning India to the bottom of the points table in Group B.

In the Uber Cup, Indian women more than restored some pride with another 5-0 win. After beating Australia by the same margin yesterday, the women’s team led by Saina Nehwal continued their impressive run in the tournament winning by a points margin of 244-161. They could qualify for the next round later in the day, if Japan beat Australia.

Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu made light work of their opponents with straightforward victories. Saina beat Fabienne Deprez 21-15, 21-10 in a straight games victory. Sindhu was even more dominant, losing only 19 points, and beat Luise Heim 21-7, 21-12. Ruthvika Shivani wrapped up the singles sweep by beating Yvonne Li 21-5, 21-15.

The onus was on the doubles pairs to make it another 5-0 win, and they did not disappoint. Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa came back from a game down to beat Lindla Effler and Lara Kaepplein 14-21, 21-9, 21-8 to put aside an early hiccup. However the tightest match of the day was left for last, when N. Sikki Reddy and PV Sindhu took Issabel Herttrich and Franziska Volkmann. In a game of very fine margins, the Indian pair took the first game with a 21-18 win. But the Germans were not to give up easy and came back fighting to take the second 21-19. Despite leading 18-16 at one point, Sindhu-Reddy faced match points as the Germans won 4 points in a row to lead 20-18. But the Indians didn’t crumble under pressure and went on to take the decider 22-20 to cap off a dramatic win.  

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