Thomas & Uber Cup: Indian eves crash out with bronze, despite spirited performance

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Thomas & Uber Cup: Indian eves crash out with bronze, despite spirited performance

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Amlan Majumdar

05/20/2016

Indian women shuttlers crashed out in the semis of the Uber Cup in Jiangsu, China after losing to the home team 3-0 on Friday. Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu put in their best efforts, but came up short against their more illustrated opponents in both the matches, and had to settle for bronze.

Saina Nehwal started the tie for India against World No.3 Li Xuerui and got off to a poor start, losing the first game 15-21. But she made amends in the second game, and after being tied at 8-8, the Indian pulled away and went on attack mode to win the game 21-12. The decider also started in a similar fashion, with neither player conceding much room for error. After exchanging blows back and forth for the first 26 points, and the scores tied at 13, Xuerui took an upper hand in the contest and won 6 of the next 7 points to lead by 19-14, and after a Herculean 64 minute-battle, the Chinese player wrapped up the match at 21-17 in the third game.

Sindhu, like in the match against Thailand, had the task of wrestling back the lead conceded by Saina in the opener. But unlike the quarterfinal, Sindhu could not live with Shixian Wang’s ferocity and accuracy. After surrendering the first game 21-13, Sindhu came back strong and even had three game points at 20-17, but she lost them all, and with that the momentum. Shixian went on to win 21-14, 23-21, putting India 2-0 down.

In a do-or-die third match for India, Jwala Gutta and N. Sikki Reddy took to court to face Qin Tian and Yunlei Zhao, but were swept clear in 25 minutes by a margin of 6-21, 6-21 to end the Indian challenge.

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