For the second successive day, Indian men came a cropper to bring a premature end to their campaign in the Thomas and Uber Cup finals here on Monday. Also, the women shuttlers led by Saina Nehwal continued to bring cheer to the Indians by having it easy against Hong Kong, winning 4-1 and booking their berth in the last eight.
In Uber Cup Group Y, India outplayed Hong Kong with Saina, PV Sindhu and the doubles pair of Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa clinching the rubber in the first available opportunity.
Saina suffered some initial hiccups in both her games as her 21st ranked opponent Pui Yin Yip took lead in both the games. In the first game, Yip was levelled at 3-3 by the No. 8 Saina and the Indian did not look back, going on to win 21-9. In the second game, it seemed as if Yip led till reaching nine points and thereafter it was Saina all the way, winning 12 consecutive points after trailing 9-10 to clinch the game 21-10 and give India a 1-0 lead.
Gutta-Ponnappa and Sindhu broke little sweat while winning their matches and giving India a winning 3-0 lead.
However, the tale was not pleasant among Indian men in Thomas Cup earlier in the day. The Indian men, who were wiped out 1-4 by Malaysia on Sunday, went down fighting 2-3 to Korea. Indian men had to win all their singles matches. The wins came from captain Parupalli Kashyap and third singles player RMV Gurusaidutt.
But the first singles player, Kidambi Srikant and the two doubles teams, Sumeeth Reddy-Manu Attri and Akshay Dewalkar-Pranaav Jerry Chopra.The home team did not get the start they were looking for as world No. 18 Srikanth squandered a one-game advantage to go down fighting 21-17 12-21 18-21 to Wan Ho Son, ranked ninth, in an hour and 11 minutes-match.
B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri did their best and led 18-14 in the first game but they let the opportunity slip and eventually ended with a 18-21 17-21 loss to Yeon Seong Yoo and Yong Dae Lee, as India lagged 0-2.
Captain of the side, Kashyap kept his team in the hunt with a comfortable 21-17 21-14 win over Lee Dong Keun in the second singles.
However, the doubles pair of Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Jerry Chopra lost 16-21 16-21 to world No. 4 duo of Kim Sa Rang and Kim Ki Jung within 30 minutes in the next match as India lost the tie 1-3.
Gurusaidutt once again came up with a stellar performance to register a 24-22 21-13 win over Hwang Jong Soo in the third singles as India finished with a 2-3 scoreline. Indian men next take on Germany in an inconsequential tie on Wednesday.