India girls in Uber Cup quarters; men fade in Thomas Cup (Roundup)

Kunshan (China) May 17 (IANS) Indian eves registered their second successive win by thrashing Germany 5-0 to enter the Uber Cup quarter-finals while the men’s badminton team was virtually out of the Thomas Cup after going down to Hong Kong 2-3 here on Tuesday.

Placed in Group D alongside Germany, Japan and Australia, the Saina Nehwal-led Indian women’s team continued its rampaging form as it registered a comprehensive 5-0 win over Germany to seal its quarter-final berth. On Monday, India thrashed Australia 5-0.

Japan was the other team that entered the last eight stage after beating Australia for its second win on the trot at the Kunshan Sports Center Stadium.

It was 2015 World Championship runner-up Saina who started the proceedings for India and breezed past her opponent in no time. The London Olympic Bronze medallist outclassed Fabienne Deprez 21-15, 21-10. P.V. Sindhu then blew away Luise Heim 21-7, 21-12 in 26 minutes to give India a 2-0 lead.

India’s favourite pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa — Commonwealth Games 2010 champions and 2011 World Championship bronze medallists — rallied back from a game down to beat Linda Efler and Lara Kaepplein 14-21, 21-9, 21-8 in a contest which lasted for 41 minutes. The triumph gave India an unassailable lead of 3-0.

But they did not give up after that. In the last two dead rubbers, Ruthvika Shivani Gadde defeated Yvonne Li 21-5, 21-15, and N. Sikki Reddy and Sindhu came together to edge past Isabel Herttrich and Franziska Volkmann 21-18, 19-21, 22-20 in the second doubles.

India, bronze medallist in the previous edition, now lock horns with 2014 runners-up Japan in their final group game on Wednesday.

On the other hand, it was virtually curtains for the men’s shuttlers in Thomas Cup as they succumbed to their second consecutive loss in the group stage.

India, having suffered the first loss to Thailand on Sunday in Group B, fought hard despite losing first two matches. B. Sai Praneeth and Sourabh Verma won the singles contests but Hong Kong proved stronger in the doubles.

With top two teams advancing to the quarter-finals, India’s hopes have all but ended as it is the only side that is without a point yet. Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong all have a point each.

India will play their final group game on Wednesday against Indonesia, which has a much stronger team than Hong Kong.

World No.21 Ajay Jayaram faltered against No.11 Ka Long Angus Ng 13-21, 12-21 in 31 minutes, and later Hong Kong made it 2-0 when Chin Chung Or and Chun Man Tang beat India’s top pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy 21-19, 21-12 in 32 minutes.

World No.34 Praneeth put up a valiant display as he overcame No.14 Hu Yun 23-21, 23-21 in 47 minutes. This win opened the account for India.

However, Hong Kong sealed the contest in the second doubles rubber as Tsz Kit Chan and Cheuk Him Law took only 24 minutes to crush the challenge of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty 21-10, 21-11.

In the third singles match, Sourabh stunned world No.17 Wei Nan 17-21, 21-19, 21-9 in 47 minutes to make it 2-3.

–IANS

tri/pur/vt

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