Thomas and Uber Cup: Indian men’s and women’s teams lose final group tie

Bangkok: The Indian women’s and men’s badminton teams lost their final Thomas and Uber Cup 2022 group ties against South Korea and Chinese Taipei, respectively at the Impact Arena, here on Wednesday.

Both teams had already ensured their berths in the quarterfinals after winning their first two group ties but needed to win on Wednesday to top their respective groups. However, the Indian women’s team lost 0-5 to South Korea while the men went down 2-3 against Chinese Taipei.

Having finished second in the Uber Cup Group D, the PV Sindhu-led women’s team will go up against a strong Thailand team, which topped Group C in the top eight. On the other hand, the men’s team are placed second in Thomas Cup Group C and their opponents in quarters will be decided later.

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In the Uber Cup tie, double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu, ranked 7th in the badminton world rankings, started off the proceedings against world No. 4 An Seyoung in the first singles rubber.

Up against the 20-year-old South Korean whom she has never beaten in four previous attempts, Sindhu seemed to have the upper hand in the initial exchanges. However, with Sindhu leading 15-13, Seyoung shocked the Indian to submission as she took the next eight points on the trot and won the first game.

The narrative repeated once again in game 2 as the Indian squandered an early lead. Eventually, Seyoung beat Sindhu 21-15, 21-14 in 42 minutes.

From there on, the Indian challenge collapsed as Shruti Mishra and Simran Singhi lost 13-21, 12-21 to worlds silver medallists Lee Sohee and Shin Seungchan in the first doubles match before Aakarshi Kashyap went down 10-21, 10-21 against world No 19 Kim Ga Eun.

South Korea then went on to complete a 5-0 clean sweep over India as Kim Hye Jeong and Kong Heeyong outplayed Tanisha Crasto and Treesa Jolly 21-14, 21-11 in the second doubles and Sim Yujin defeated Ashmita Chaliha 21-18, 21-17 in the final match of the tie.

Meanwhile, in the Thomas Cup Group C tie, the Indian men’s team showed a little more resistance against Chinese Taipei but submitted 2-3 eventually.

Lakshya Sen, India’s highest-ranked singles player at world No 9, went down fighting against world No 4 and Asian Games silver medallist Chou Tien Chen. The Indian stretched the match to one hour and 20 minutes but came out on the wrong end of a 21-19, 13-21, 21-17 scoreline.

India’s top doubles draw Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy then lost 11-21, 19-21 to reigning Olympics doubles champions and Wang Chi-lin.

Down 2-0, India needed a spark of inspiration and it did come from world silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth, who pulled one back for his team after beating Wang Tzu Wei 21-19, 21-16. After a slow start, Srikanth recovered brilliantly to beat his opponent in straight games.

In a do-or-die situation, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila put up a spirited resistance against Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han but they lost a close match with the scoreline 21-17, 19-21, 21-19. HS Prannoy beat Lu Chia Hung 18-21, 21-17, 18-21 in the final dead rubber to make the score 2-3.

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