The Telegraph
Tuesday , May 20 , 2014
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Saina, Sindhu impress

New Delhi: Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu continued to impress, as India made sure of a quarter final berth in the Uber Cup on Monday, defeating Hong Kong 4-1 in a Group Y tie at the Siri Fort Sports Complex, here.

It was the second consecutive win for the Indian women, who made short work of Canada 5-0 on Sunday. On Tuesday, India would take on mighty Thailand, led by world No. 4 Ratchanok Intanon. But even a defeat against them would not stop India from finishing second in the group.

The men’s team campaign, however, came to an end on Monday evening after they were edged out 2-3 by Korea in the group C outing.

In the Uber Cup match, like Sunday, the pace was once again set by Saina with an easy 21-9, 21-10 win over Pui Yin Yip. Pui is Hong Kong’s top player and the world No. 21.

“Good that I managed to pull it off… the home crowd also did play a part in my victory by cheering all the way. I am glad that I could give 100 per cent for my team,”she said.

Once Saina put India in the lead, there was no stopping them. The handful of spectators — among them Sunil Gavaskar — were pleasantly surprised by the aggression and agility shown by India’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa.

Trailing 13-17 at one point, the duo hit back to beat Hoi Wah Chau and Lok Yan Poon 21-17, 21-13 in only 31 minutes.

The match was decisively over when PV Sindhu played the second singles against Ying Mei Cheung.

It was a complete mismatch as the World Championship bronze medallist raced to a 21-8, 21-10 victory in only 26 minutes.

However, PC Thulasi lost to Tsz Ka Chan and Ying Suet Tse 14-21, 11-21 and the second doubles pair of Siki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre huffed and puffed before getting the better of Hung Yun Chan 19-21, 21-16, 21-7.

In the men’s tie, Parupalli Kashyap and RMV Gurusaidutt won but could not prevent India from losing as they lost the other three matches.

Kashyap beat Dong Keun Lee 21-17, 21-14 and Gurusaidutt defeated Hwang Jong Soo 24-22, 21-13.

Things could have been different had Kidambi Srikanth not lost to world No. 9 Wan Ho Son 17-21, 12-21, 18-21 after a 71 minutes battle in the opener. Kashyap beat Dong Keun Lee 21-17, 21-14 and Gurusaidutt defeated Hwang Jong Soo 24-22, 21-13.