India knocked out of the Sudirman cup after a 4-1 loss to South Korea
India were in a must win situation as they took on South Korea in the Sudirman Cup on Wednesday. Korea beat India 4-1 to book their place in the quarterfinals.
The men’s doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar lost to World No. 8 duo Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang 10-21, 19-21 as India trailed 0-1 heading into the second rubber. Saina Nehwal kept India in the hunt with a 22-20, 17-21, 21-13 World No. 5 Bae Yeon Ju.
Korea fielded Ju instead of Sung Ji Hyun due to her better head-to-head record over Saina. The move was working well as she lead 11-9 heading into the first break. Saina never let run away with the game and won four straight points from 18-20 down to take the opening game.
After taking a tight first game, Saina lost rhythm to allow Yeon Ju back into the contest. The Hyderabadi was leading 11-10 at the interval, but Ju levelled things at 14-14 beofre winning six consecutive points to close out the second game. Saina wrestled back the momentum from her South Korean opponent by winning the third game thanks to an aggressive approach to level the series 1-1.
It was Parupalli Kashyap who replaced Kidambi Srikanth from the last game for India in the third rubber. One of the reasons for choosing Kashyap was his recent win over Son Wan Ho at the Singapore Open. The move backfired as Kashyap lost a three-game encounter 21-13, 14-21, 13-21 to Ho.
Kashyap led 4-1 in the first game only to allow Ho take the advantage 8-6 and 12-10 before breaking away to win the opening game. It was Ho who led 10-7 in the second game, but Kashyap won three points in a row to stay in with a chance. However, the Korean dominated rallies to stay clear of the Indian and level the match at two games apiece.
Ho led 11-8 in the decider and jumped to a 17-12 lead thanks to an array of unforced errors from Kashyap. Ho ended the match with a powerful smash to ensure Korea a 2-1 lead in the series.
Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa put in a courageous performance against Chang Ye Na and Jung Kyung Eun before going down 21-18, 12-21, 12-21.
After winning the first game, unforced errors started to increase off the rackets of Jwala and Ashwini. The Korean pair attacked a lot more in the final two games and it paid dividends as Jwala and Ashwini couldn’t respond with the same intensity.
The final match was a mere formality, but the Indian pair of Manu Attri and Sikki Reddy N lost in straight games 12-21, 20-22 to Kim Ha Na and Ko Sung Hyun.