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Badminton Asia Team Championships 2018: Indian men to face China, women to take on Indonesia in quarter-finals

619   //    09 Feb 2018, 01:25 IST

E-Plus Badminton Asia Team Championships 2018
PV Sindhu in action at the Badminton Asia Team Championships in Alor Setar on Thursday

The Indian men will take on China while the women will face Indonesia in the quarter-finals as the round robin stage came to an end at the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2018 held at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium in Alor Setar, Malaysia on Thursday.

Both the teams, however, lost their final group clashes. While the women were outclassed 1-4 by Japan, the men lost narrowly 2-3 to Indonesia.

With the Indian women losing to Japan, the latter emerged as the toppers of Group W. India finished in the second place in the three-team group with Hong Kong being the other team, whom Indian had beaten 3-2 on the first day of the continental championships.

The men too faced a battle for the top spot with Indonesia in the four-team Group D. Indonesia came back from a 1-2 deficit to edge India 3-2 and that placed them at the top of the table.

Sindhu gets solitary win for India

PV Sindhu got the lone victory for India in the women’s clash. The World No. 4 beat the second ranked Akane Yamaguchi 21-19, 21-15 in the first match of the tie. Barring that, nobody could even take a game off the formidable Japanese.

World No. 13 Sayaka Sato took 26 minutes to dismiss the challenge of the 20-year-old Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli 21-12, 21-12. Doubles exponent Ashwini Ponnappa was fielded in the third singles match and she went down 14-21, 12-21 to the 16th ranked Aya Ohori.

In doubles, Sanyogita Ghorpade and Prajakta Sawant were beaten 17-21, 17-21 by Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto. The World No. 2 women’s doubles pair of Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo proved to be a huge barrier for India’s best pair of Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy and the latter went down 18-21, 18-21.

Big win for Rankireddy and Shetty

In the India vs Indonesia men’s tie in the evening, India got off to a disappointing start as the country’s No. 1 men’s singles shuttler Kidambi Srikanth was stunned 17-21, 17-21 by the 13th ranked Jonatan Christie.

The fast-rising pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty then showed nerves of steel as they upset the much-fancied pair of Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Mohammad Ahsan. The Indians needed five match points to grab the 18-21, 21-18, 24-22 win in the exhilarating contest that lasted 52 minutes.

Singapore Open Superseries winner B Sai Praneeth too put in a dazzling show to beat the in-form World No. 9 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, who won the Indonesia Masters just last month. Sai notched up a 21-18, 21-19 win in 44 minutes.

With that win, India led the mighty Indonesians 2-1 and were in sniffing distance of an upset when the doubles pair of Shlok Ramchandran and Arjun MR went a game up over Angga Pratama and Rian Agung Saputro.

The Indonesians, however, regrouped from there and came storming back for a 14-21, 21-16, 21-12 win.

In the final match of the tie, doubles expert B Sumeeth Reddy took the court in place of Sameer Verma, who apparently had a neck strain and required rest ahead of the knock-out stages. Reddy was no match for the World No. 39 Ihsan Maulana Mustofa and the Indonesian prevailed 21-12, 21-7.

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A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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