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Thomas Cup: Holders India lose to Indonesia, enter quarters

Source: PTI
May 01, 2024 23:19 IST
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IMAGE: HS Prannoy picked up the only win for India against Indonesia. Photograph: BAI Media/X

Defending champions India's hopes of entering the Thomas Cup knockout stage as group topper were dashed by a clinical Indonesia who emerged 4-1 winners in their final pool match in Chengdu on Wednesday.

Both India and Indonesia have already qualified for the quarterfinals of the prestigious event after winning their first two matches but the latter will progress to the knockouts as Group C leaders.


The biggest positive in this defeat for India was HS Prannoy getting back to winning ways after overcoming health concerns.

The rematch of the 2022 Thomas Cup final provided Indonesia with a chance to exact revenge for their 0-3 loss then, and they did just that on the back of an excellent display.

India number one in men's singles, Prannoy put the team ahead 1-0 after he staged a remarkable comeback to get the better of Anthony Ginting 13-21 21-12 21-12 in the opening match.

In the first men's doubles match, the duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty went down to Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana, the same pair that dashed the Indian pair's hopes at the last All England Championship.

Satwiksairaj and Chirag lost 22-24 24-22 21-19 as Indonesia levelled the tie at 1-1.

Lakshya Sen lost to reigning All England men's singles winner Jonatan Christie 18-21 21-16 17-21. The 22-year-old Sen raised hopes when he claimed the second game with his impressive net play, but he could not get past a determined Christie in the decider.

In the fourth match, India's Dhruv Kapila and Sai Pratheek lost in straight games 22-20 21-11 to fancied Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin.

In the final match, which was a dead rubber, Kidmabi Srikanth lost to Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo. Srikanth won the opening game 21-19, but lost the second and third games 22-24 14-21 respectively.

Earlier, Prannoy put his team ahead after he came back from a game down to beat Ginting.

Having looked clueless in the first game, Prannoy turned things around in the manner one expects from the country's top shuttler, decimating his opponent in the next two games to register one of his best wins of 2024.

"I knew that Ginting was going to be quick in the opening game. But I knew that if I stuck with him in the second game till 13-all, 14-all then I had a chance," said Prannoy after the match.

Similar to Prannoy's match, the duo of Satwiksairaj and Chirag lost their opening game to the Indonesian combo of Fikri and Maulana in the first men's doubles tie.

But the Indian pair fought back to claim the second game and restore parity.

However, the Indonesians had the last laugh after they overcame a heroic effort by Satwiksairaj and Chirag to win the third game and the match to level the Group C tie at 1-1.

Having fallen way behind, Satwiksairaj and Chirag saved an unbelievable 12 match points before Fikri converted in the 13th to seal the issue in their favour.

It turned out to be one of the most memorable matches as Indonesia, the tournament's most successful team, showed that their doubles game remains formidable.

The onus was on Sen to help India regain their lead and while he lost his opening game of the second men's singles to Christie 18-21, the 22-year-old Indian rallied to win the second game 21-16 and take it to the decider.

But the young Indian shuttler failed to continue in the same vein as Christie upped the ante when it mattered the most and emerged a 21-17 winner in the decisive third game to power Indonesia 2-1 ahead.

Indonesia took firm control of the tie heading into the fourth match -- the second men's doubles -- and the Indian duo of Dhruv Kapila and Sai Pratheek had their task cut out against fancied Carnando and Marthin.

But they could not deliver and lost the match in straight games, and so did Srikanth.

Meanwhile, it was confirmed that the Indian women's team will take on Japan in the quarterfinals of the Uber Cup.

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