Indian eves enter quarters of Uber Cup
Kunshan: The Indian women's team qualified for the Uber Cup badminton tournament quarterfinals despite suffering a narrow 2 3 loss to powerhouse Japan in its third and final Group D match, here today.
The men's nike clearance team, however, continued its dismal run in the Thomas Cup and crashed out after being blanked 0 5 by Indonesia in their third match of Group B at the Kunshan Sports Center Stadium.
In Uber Cup, ace shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu notched up straight game victories in the first two singles but Indian eves could not win the two doubles and third singles to go down fighting to 2014 runners up Japan.
Olympic bronze medallist, Saina defeated World No. 5 Nozomi Okuhara 18 21 6 21 to avenge her only loss to the Japanese at the Dubai World Superseries Finals last year and give her team a 1 0 lead.
The 26 year old from Hyderabad fought back from 3 7 15 18 down to pocket the first game and then dished out a dominating game to zoom past Okuhara in the second game to complete the victory in 38 minutes.
In the second singles, two time World Championship bronze medallist, P V Sindhu notched up a 21 11 21 18 win over World No. 11 Akane Yamaguchi in a 36 minute clash to guide India to a 2 0 lead.
However, Jwala Gutta combined with N Sikki Reddy to take on the formidable World No. 1 pair of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi and went down without a fight 11 21 8 21 within half an hour in the first women's doubles.
In the third singles, Ruthvika Shivani Gadde was entrusted with the responsibility of taming World No. 12 Sayaka Sato and the Indian expectedly could not match up, going down 7 21 14 21 in 29 minutes to allow Japan draw parity.
In the decider, Ashwini Ponnappa paired up with Sindhu but their gallant fight ended with a 21 15 19 21 16 21 loss to Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito as Indian eves lost 2 3 in their final league match.
However, India still qualified for nike 0.5 the knockout stage as they are placed second behind Japan in Group D after winning against Australia and Germany.
The top two teams in each group make it to the knockout stage and there will be another draw for the quarter finals.
The men's team had yet another forgettable day as it proved no match for Indonesia, who dominated the tie to leave India clueless.
World No. 21 Ajay Jayaram could not get across Christie Jonatan, ranked 19th, losing 14 21 12 21 in a 37 minute battle in the first singles.
Manu Attri and Akshay Dewalkar then joined hands and took the court in the first doubles but lost 18 21 17 21 to Angga Pratama and Ricky Karanda Suwardi in just 28 minutes.
A lot was expected from B Sai Praneeth and the Indian did give his everything but could not prevent a 21 18 11 21 15 21 loss to Ginting Anthony in a 56 minute clash as Indonesia took an unassailable 3 0 lead.
In the second doubles, Sumeeth Reddy B and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy were brushed aside by Gideon nike shoes drawing Markus Fernaldi and Hendra Setiawan 9 21 18 21 and then Sourabh Varma's fight ended with a 10 21 22 20 13 21 loss to Ihsan Maulana Mustofa as Indonesia completed a 5 0 drubbing.