Despite resounding victories for Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, India women lost 2-3 to Japan in their last and crucial Group D Uber Cup match on Wednesday. Though the women qualified for quarterfinals, the loss to Japan means that they will be drawn against tough opponents like China, Thailand or Korea next. The draw for the last eight stage will be released late on Wednesday.
However, Indian men tumbled out of the Thomas Cup losing all their three ties in Group B. India lost to Indonesia 0-5.
Japanese women bounced back after losing their first two matches. Saina gave India a fluent start by trouncing Japanese top draw Nozomi Okuhara 21-18, 21-6.Saina came back from a 15-18 deficit in the first game to notch up six straight points to win the contest. In the second game Saina outclassed the All England champion by conceding just six points.
In the second singles, PV Sindhu raised India’s hopes with a dominant victory against world No.11 Akane Yamaguchi 21-11, 21-18. Though she faced some resistance towards the end of the second game, the world No.10 Indian was in complete control.
The Indian think tank changed the doubles combinations. Instead of fielding Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, India fielded new combinations. In the first doubles Jwala was paired with Sikki Reddy while Ashwini and PV Sindhu featured in the second. Indian results: Uber Cup (Group D): Japan bt India 3-2 (N Okuhara lost to Saina Nehwal 18-21, 6-21; A Yamaguchi lost to PV Sindhu 11-21, 18-21; M MatsutomoA Takahashi bt J Gutta S Reddy 21-11, 21-8; S Sato bt R Shivani 21-7, 21-14; S MatsuoM Naito bt A Ponnappa PV Sindhu 15-21, 21-19, 21-16).Thomas Cup (Group B): Indonesia bt India 5-0 (C Jonatan bt A Jayaram 21-14, 21-12; A Pratama RK Suwari bt M Attri A Dewalkar 21-18, 21-17; A Ginting bt S Praneeth 18-21, 21-11, 2115; GM Fernaldi H Setiawan bt S Reddy Satwiksairaj 21-9, 21-18; I Maulana Mustofa bt S Varma 21-10, 20-22, 21-13).