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Indian men reach Thomas Cup quarterfinals

In cruise mode: B. Sai Praneeth started India’s blanking of Tahiti with a facile win.   | Photo Credit: Vincent Kessler

The Indian men’s badminton team hammered Tahiti 5-0 to enter the quarterfinals of the Thomas Cup for the first time since 2010, but the women’s team suffered a crushing 5-0 defeat against a strong Thailand in its last group match here.

It was the first defeat for Indian women after beating Spain (3-2) and Scotland (4-1). The women’s team has already reached the quarterfinals.

The men’s team, on Tuesday, recorded its second straight 5-0 win, having beaten the Netherlands on Sunday.

In the Uber Cup, Malvika Bansod lost the opening singles 21-15, 21-11 to Pornpawee Chochowong. Ashwini Ponappa and Sikki N. Reddy then went down fighting 21-16, 21-12 to Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai.

Falling short

For India to stay alive, it was imperative for Aditi Bhatt to win the next singles match. She fought her heart out, but lost 21-16, 18-21, 21-15 to Busanan Ongbamrungphan in a match that lasted 59 minutes. Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand then fought hard before losing 21-17, 21-16 to Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai.

Tasnim Mir took the court with an aim to avoid a whitewash, but fell 21-19, 21-15 to Supaninda Katethong. Tasnim had a good chance to win the first game as she was leading 17-14 but lost points in a jiffy to let slip advantage.

Top-two finish

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s win over Tahiti ensured that Indian men’s team will finish in top two in the four-team Group C. India will take on traditional powerhouse China in the final match on Thursday.

B. Sai Praneeth began the proceedings with a 21-5, 21-6 win over Louis Beaubois in just 23 minutes in the opening singles. Sameer Verma made it 2-0 with an easy 21-12, 21-12 victory over Remi Rossi..

Kiran George sealed the tie, beating Elias Maublanc 21-4, 21-2.

In the inconsequential doubles matches, the pair of Krishna Prasad and Vishnu Vardhan achieved a 21-8, 21-7 win in 21 minutes before Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty beat Maublanc and Heiva Yvonet 21-5, 21-3.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 9:26:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/indian-men-reach-thomas-cup-quarterfinals/article36993179.ece

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