Thomas Cup: India finish third in group
Indian men shuttlers finally managed to salvage some pride by beating Germany 3-2 to finish third in Group C of the Thomas Cup badminton at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here Wednesday.
R.M.V. Gurusaidutt turned out to be the saving grace for India by winning the crucial third singles when the clash was tied 2-all, to give India the victory in the inconsequential tie.
Both Germany and the hosts were knocked out of the competition Monday after failing to qualify for the quarter-finals. Malaysia and South Korea finished first and second, progressing to the last eight.
India's highest ranked shuttler Kidambi Srikanth won his first match of the tournament by drubbing World No.13 Marc Zwiebler in the first singles. The World No.18 took 56 minutes to beat the German 21-18, 18-21, 21-18 in their first ever match.
However, India were put on the backfoot as doubles pair B. Sumeet Reddy and Manu Attri and India captain Parupalli Kashyap lost their respective matches to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
Reddy and Attri were no match for Michael Fuchs and Johannes Schoettler in the first doubles, losing 15-21, 6-21.
Later, Kahsyap looked completely out of sorts as he went down 21-23, 21-14, 14-21 in 55 minutes to World No.59 Dieter Domke, who won his first clash against the Indian in six meetings.
But Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Jerry Chopra put India back on track by managing to clinch a thriller against Peter Kaesbauer and Josche Zurwonne 21-9, 17-21, 21-19 to level the tie.
Eventually, Gurusaidutt came good in the third singles by edging past Lukas Schmidt 14-21, 21-19, 21-19 to give the hosts the win. The shuttler has been the most consistent by being the only player/pair to win all three group matches from India.
Indian women will play their Uber Cup quarter-final Thursday. The last eight draws will be decided later in the day.
(Posted on 21-05-2014)