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Sudirman Cup 2017: India beat Indonesia 4-1 to keep hopes alive

FEATURED COLUMNIST
News
Modified 23 May 2017, 20:51 IST
Indian badminton.jpg
A good day for the Indian badminton team

A spirited Indian team upset former champions Indonesia 4-1 to keep their hopes alive at the Sudirman Cup 2017 in Gold Coast, Australia on Tuesday.  It was PV Sindhu, who sealed the deal for India with her convincing 21-8, 21-19 win over the World No. 23 Fitriani Fitriani that gave her team an unassailable lead of 3-1, essentially winning the tie for India.

India lost their Group D opener 1-4 to Denmark on Monday which made this tie a must-win contest for PV Sindhu and Co. India’s fate will be decided by the last group match between Denmark and Indonesia which is scheduled on Wednesday.

The tie started with the veteran Ashwini Ponnappa and the young Satwiksairaj Rankireddy joining forces to deliver India a famous victory over the Indonesian duo of Tontowi Ahmad and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja.

The Indonesians led till 17-14 in the first game before the Indian duo staged a remarkable fightback to snatch the opener, 22-20, saving three game points in the process.

Even though Indonesia came back to grab the second game, Rankireddy’s brilliant attacking play and Ponnappa’s finesse were able to stave off the mighty challenge for a narrow 22-20, 17-21, 21-19 win in 1 hour 6 minutes.

Kidambi extends lead

In the second match of the day, Srikanth Kidambi picked up from where he had left in his last Superseries tournament. The Singapore Open runner-up did not falter at all and played a calm and confident match to secure a 21-15, 21-16 win over the 28th ranked Jonatan Christie.

Indonesia got their solitary win of the day in their next match through the men’s doubles World No. 1 pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo.  They blew away the teenaged Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and then warded them off in the second game for a 21-9, 21-17 triumph.

Sindhu seals the deal and Ponnappa delivers again

PV Sindhu then did her job with elan. She was put to a test by the feisty Fitriani, who involved the Indian in exhausting rallies. But the Rio Olympic silver medallist prevailed over the 18-year-old, 21-8, 21-19 which is her third victory over the Indonesian in as many meetings.

Ashwini Ponnappa brought double delight in the final match of the day. She and N Sikki Reddy were edged by Denmark by a whisker in their women’s doubles match on Monday.

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The two made amends and never relented in their strong 21-12, 21-19 win over the World No. 15 pair of Della Destiara Haris and Rosyita Eka Putri Sari.

Published 23 May 2017, 20:51 IST
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