India suffered defeat to Japan and Indonesia in the Thomas and Uber Cup respectively in their last round robin matches of the competition on Wednesday. Despite the loss, India women have reached the quarterfinals of the Uber Cup as they had already booked the spot, crushing Germany on Tuesday. However, the men have been dumped out of the competition, losing all their matches in the Thomas Cup.
Despite the loss in the women's competition against Japan 3-2, India women shuttlers need to be applauded for their incredible performance.
Saina Nehwal got the ball rolling for India, defeating Nozomi Okuhara in straight games 21-18, 21-6, to help her team take a crucial 1-0 lead. It was one of Saina's best performances in recent times against a top shuttler.
Such display by Saina must have encouraged PV Sindhu, who came up with another dominant display to emerge victorious over Akane Yamaguchi to make it 2-0. With such a lead, India were just a win away, but the task was not easy with Japan possessing great doubles players in their ranks.
With India doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Sikki Reddy losing in the third match of the tie, and Ruthvika Gadde also failing to get past Sayaka Sato in the singles encounter, the tie was levelled at 2-2. The last doubles match went on to become the decider.
India's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sindhu had to win in order to clinch the tie, and the pair looked strong, winning the first game. But the Japanese pair of Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito came back to win the last two sets, and with it the tie as well.
Though India women went down fighting in the Uber Cup, the men were disappointing in the Thomas Cup, as they lost their third tie of the competition, against Indonesia, whose players looked superior to hand India an embarrassing defeat. Ajay Jayaram lost the first match in the tie, and the doubles pair of Manu Attri and Akshay Dewalkar also lost in a similar fashion, in straight sets.
With B. Sai Praneeth also losing in the third match of the tie to Ginting Anthony, Indonesia emerged triumphant. The last two matches of the tie was a dead rubber, and India lost both the matches, to lose the tie -- 5-0 -- in an embarrassing manner.