India ended their Sudirman Cup campaign on a terrible note as they went down 5-0 against hosts China in their last group stage match of the tournament. After they had lost 3-2 to Malaysia on Tuesday, the match against China was a do-or-die one for the Kidmabi Srikanth-led side.
Facing the 10-time champions and the opponent, who had eliminated India from the same tournament in the previous two occasions, India were never the favourites for the win. And it got very much evident in the very first clash of the tie when the mixed doubles pair of N Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra were defeated 5-21, 11-21 by Chinese pair Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping in 28 minutes.
However, Sameer Verma, who was the main culprit for the side against Malaysia, did step up against World No. 5 Chen Long despite losing in straight sets. The match went over 71 minutes and featured a plethora of long rallies with both the players taking multiple medical breaks. Eventually, Verma lost 17-21, 20-22.
The men’s doubles pair of Swastiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty was the only one to take a game off China on the day when they were facing Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong. Eventually, the Chinese pair went to win the remaining two games to win the match 18-21, 21-15, 21-17.
The tie was dead with India trailing 3-0 and Saina Nehwal didn’t look very willing to play as well. She lost 12-21, 17-21 to Chen Yufei in under 35 minutes to further compound the humiliation on her side. The last match did see the women’s doubles of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy putting up a fight, but they lost 12-21, 15-21 to Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan.
Malaysia and China advance into the knockout stages from Group 1 D.
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