Suzhou (China), May 14 (IANS) India began its Sudirman Cup campaign on a disappointing note, losing 1-4 against Chinese Taipei in its opening Group C tie, here on Sunday.
The tie began with a mixed doubles match, where the duo of Sai Pratheek and Tanisha Crasto suffered 21-18, 24-26, 6-21 at the hands of world no. 30 Yang Po-Hsuan and Hu Ling Fang.
The Indians started well and took the first game but failed to continue with the momentum as they lost the second game 24-26 and the deciding game 6-21, thus Taipei held an early 1-0 lead in the tie.
In the second rubber, India’s top-ranked men’s singles player, HS Prannoy, fell in straight games 21-19, 21-15 to world no. 5 Chou Tien Chen.
In the third match, P V Sindhu was up against familiar foe Tai Tzu Ying. The Taipei shuttler comfortably won the first game and the Indian ace bounced back to force the decider, winning the second. But Tai regrouped in the deciding game and handed Sindhu 14-21, 21-18, 17-21 loss to seal the tie for Taipei with a 3-0 unassailable lead.
Notably, each tie comprises five matches — women’s singles, men’s singles, mixed doubles, women’s doubles and men’s doubles. The team which wins three of these five matches takes the tie and pockets one point.
Then, Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin extended the lead to 4-0, handing a 21-13, 17-21, 21-18 defeat to India’s top-ranked men’s pair, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty in the men’s doubles match.
In the last match of the tie, the women’s doubles pair of Gayatri Gopichand Pullela and Trisha Jolly earned India’s first win of the day, winning 15-21, 21-18, 21-13 against Lee Chia Hsin and Teng Chun Hsun.
India will next face another big gun Malaysia on Monday in their second Group C tie before going up against Australia on Wednesday.
The Indian badminton team has never won a medal at the Sudirman Cup. Quarterfinal finishes in 2011 and 2017 are India’s best results in the biennial mixed-team event.