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India in Uber Cup quarters despite losing to Japan

Source: PTI
May 18, 2016 18:57 IST
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The men's team, however, continued its dismal run in the Thomas Cup and crashed out after being blanked 5-0 by Indonesia.

P V SindhuThe Indian women's team qualified for the quarter-finals in the Uber Cup badminton tournament despite a 2-3 defeat to 2014 runners-up Japan in their third and final Group D match, in Kunshan, China, on Wednesday.

The men's team, however, continued its dismal run in the Thomas Cup and crashed out after being blanked 5-0 by Indonesia in their third Group B match at the Kunshan Sports Center Stadium.

The Indian men had earlier lost to Thailand and Hong Kong.

In the Uber Cup, India won their opening singles matches through ace shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu, but lost the two doubles and third singles.

London Olympics 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 the 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 display to overpower Okuhara in the second game and complete victory in 38 minutes.

Two-time World Championships bronze medallist P V Sindhu scored a 21-11, 21-18 victory over world No 11 Akane Yamaguchi in 36 minutes.

However, Jwala Gutta and N Sikki Reddy lost to the world No. 1 pair of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi 11-21, 8-21 in 30 minutes in the first doubles.

Ruthvika Shivani Gadde was entrusted the responsibility of beating world No 12 Sayaka Sato in the third singles, but the Indian lost 7-21, 14-21 in 29 minutes, allowing Japan to draw parity.

In the decider, Ashwini Ponnappa and Sindhu put up a gallant fight but went down 21-15, 19-21, 16-21 to Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito.

However, India still qualified for the knock-out stage as they placed second behind Japan in Group D, having beaten Australia and Germany.

The top two teams in each group make it to the knock-out rounds, for which there is a draw for the quarter-finals.

The men's team had yet another forgettable day, proving no match for Indonesia.

World No 21 Ajay Jayaram lost to Christie Jonatan, ranked 19th, 14-21, 12-21 in 37 minutes in the first singles.

Manu Attri and Akshay Dewalkar went down 18-21, 17-21 in the first doubles to Angga Pratama and Ricky Karanda Suwardi in 28 minutes.

A lot was expected from B Sai Praneeth. He fought gallantly but lost 21-18, 11-21, 15-21 to Ginting Anthony in 56 minutes as Indonesia took an unassailable 3-0 lead.

In the second doubles, Sumeeth Reddy B and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy were brushed aside by Gideon Markus Fernaldi and Hendra Setiawan 9-21, 18-21.

Sourabh Varma also put up a good fight but it was not enough to prevent a 10-21, 22-20, 13-21 defeat against Ihsan Maulana Mustofa as Indonesia completed a 5-0 rout.

Image: P V Sindhu

Photograph: Facebook

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