India ended their campaign at the Sudirman Cup badminton tournament on a disappointing note with a 1-3 defeat at the hands of rampaging China in the quarter-finals at Qingdao, China on Thursday.
Top Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal had the consolation of beating world number three Xin Wang in straight games but her thrilling victory failed to lift her colleagues' confidence at the Qingdao Sports Centre Gymnasium.
It was always going to be an arduous task to dent the Chinese wall for the Indians who entered the last eight of the prestigious tournament for the first time since its inception in 1989. The Indians though did not go down without a fight.
World number four Saina scripted a convincing 21-15, 21-11 victory over Xin in a 32-minute contest in the women's singles to level the score after Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas lost to their higher-ranked Chinese opponent in the first rubber.
Rupesh and Sanave lost 15-21, 14-21 to world number five men's doubles pair of Yun Cai and Haifeng Fuin in a 29-minute encounter to hand over the advantage to China.
Locked 1-1, Commonwealth games bronze medallist P Kashyap took the court against world number three Lin Dan and though the Indian played his heart out, he failed to match the class of the Beijing Olympics gold medallist and lost 14-21, 14-21.
Commonwealth Games good medallists Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa then faced a difficult task of taming the world number one pair of Xiaoli Wang and Yang Yu but the Indian duo failed to break the Chinese domination and lost 8-21, 13-21 to bring down curtains on India's campaign.
India had beaten Thailand 3-2 in their second tie in Group C of level 1 after losing their opener against Chinese Taipei. But Thailand's loss to Chinese Taipei had paved the way for India to the knockout stage.