Thomas and Uber Cup 2018: Indian men’s and women’s teams pummel Australia
After a disastrous start to their campaign on Day 1, the Indian men’s and women’s teams returned to winning ways as they demolished minnows Australia in their second outing at the Thomas and Uber Cup 2018 in Bangkok on Monday. Saina Nehwal, who was shocked by Michelle Li on Sunday, led the women’s team to a 4-1 win. On the men’s side, World No. 9 HS Prannoy, who was rested in the opening tie, inspired the men to a flawless 5-0 victory.
The men’s and the women’s teams had lost by an identical score of 1-4 to France and Canada respectively in their opener.
The only blemish in what was a perfect day for India on Day 2 was the defeat suffered by the women’s doubles pair of Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram. They surrendered 13-21, 16-21 to the Australian combine of Gronya Sommerville and Renuga Veeran. Interestingly, Jakkampudi and Ram were the only Indians to win their match in the tie vs Canada a day before.
World No. 10 Nehwal needed 35 minutes to prevail over Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen 21-14, 21-19. The next win for India was brought by the 16-year-old Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka. She showed a lot of maturity in her 21-17, 21-13 win over Jennifer Tam.
19-year-old Anura Prabhudesai hardly ever put a foot wrong in her 21-6, 21-7 thrashing of Zecily Fung. The only doubles win for India was provided by Sanyogita Ghorpade and Prajakta Sawant, who beat Louisa Ma and Ann-Louise Slee 21-19, 21-11 in 31 minutes.
In the Thomas Cup tie, Prannoy staved off a tough challenge from Anthony Joe in the first game to register a 21-19, 21-13 win. Arjun MR-Ramchandran Shlok then fetched India’s second win of the day by prevailing over Matthew Chau and Sawan Serasinghe 21-11, 21-15.
Sai Praneeth picked up from where he left on Sunday by pulverizing Jacob Schueler 21-9, 21-6 in just 20 minutes. Sai was the only Indian to have emerged victorious in the tie against France.
The doubles pair of Arun George and Sanyam Shukla had to work hard for a 21-16, 20-22, 21-8 win over Simon Wing Hang Leung and Raymond Tam. In the final rubber, 16-year-old Lakshya Sen played some fabulous strokes to defeat Kai Chen Teoh 21-5, 21-14 in just 22 minutes.
India now have an uphill task of beating China in Thomas Cup and Japan in Uber Cup to get a chance to qualify for the knock-out stages.