Malaysia knock India out of Sudirman Cup

P V Sindhu
P V Sindhu went down fighting for the second successive day. File photo: AFP

Suzhou (China): Star stuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and P V Sindhu suffered contrasting defeats as India were knocked out of the Sudirman Cup badminton tournament after suffering an embarrassing 0-5 loss to Malaysia in their second Group C match here on Monday.

A day after losing 1-4 to Chinese Taipei, India produced yet another listless show against Commonwealth Games champions Malaysia to bow out of the world mixed team championships at the group stage for the second successive time.

While Srikanth was too erratic in men's singles contest, Sindhu showed great fightback in the decider after squandering an opening game advantage only to go down in the end to world No. 30 Goh Jin Wei.

It was always going to be a tough ask for Dhruv Kapila and Ashwini Ponnappa to outwit the world No. 8 pair of Goh Soon Huat and Lai Shevon Jemie but the Indian combination tried their heart out before losing 16-21, 17-21 in 35 minutes.

An error-prone Srikanth then couldn't get India's campaign back on track, going down 16-21, 11-21 to world No. 8 Lee Zii Jia in a lop-sided men's singles contest.

World No. 12 Sindhu then erased a 2-11 deficit in the third game but failed to go the distance, losing 21-14, 10-21, 20-22 to Goh in women's singles as India conceded a 0-3 lead to Malaysia in the five-match tie.

"It is a bit disappointing. In the third game, I was trailing by eight points but I came back. Coming so close and losing those two points was very disappointing," Sindhu said.

"The momentum was not there in the second game. I was making mistakes, whatever I was playing, it was going to the net or out. In the third game, I should have maintained a lead from start but I gave her a huge lead. There were unforced errors and it made a huge difference."

Sindhu said she "came into rhythm after few points" in the decider.

"At 20-20, I felt there should have been a bit more rallies. My strokes hit my frame and went mid court and she finished it off.

"After 20-all, it was anybody's game because you can make mistakes, there are lot of pressure, you are nervous, you want to keep the shuttle in the court, you want to score a point, there are a lot of mixed emotions."

In the last two matches, world No. 5 Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy lost 18-21, 19-21 to Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in men's doubles, while Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly went down 15-21, 13-21 as India drew a blank.

Following the loss, India finished at third spot in the group with Chinese Taipei and Malaysia ending as the top two teams to qualify for the quarterfinals.

India will take on Australia in their final Group C match on Wednesday.

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