Defending champion Japan eliminated India from the BWF Uber Cup at Ceres Arena in Aarhus, Denmark, on Thursday. The young Indian women’s badminton team proved no match for the champions, losing their quarter-finals 0-3.
Competing without top stars like PV Sindhu and hampered by the forced expulsion of Saina Nehwal, the Indian Eves were beaten by their Japanese opponents.
In the first match of the tie, Malvika Bansod lost 12-21, 17-21 to No. 5 Akane Yamaguchi. Left-handed Malvika played well on patches but couldn’t threaten diminutive Yamaguchi.
Twenty-year-old Malvika was completely outclassed by former No. 1 Yamaguchi in the first game. However, Malvika did better in the next game but did not have the firepower to challenge the 24-year-old Japanese, who won in 34 minutes. It was a good learning experience for world No. 104 Mavlika against an established Japanese star, who ranks fifth in the world.
Tanisha Crasto and Rutaparna Panda’s pairing then suffered their only loss of the tournament, falling 8-21, 10-21 to Yuki Fukushima and Mayu Matsumoto. Former top-ranked doubles players Fukushima and Matsumoto completed the victory in 41 minutes.
With 0-2 down in the tie, the onus fell on Aditi Bhatt to deliver and help India stay alive with victory. However, 18-year-old Aditi Bhatt lost Game 3 16-21, 7-21 to No. 15 Sayaka Takahashi in just 29 minutes.
Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand Pullela (women’s doubles, rank 2) and Tasnim Mir (women’s singles, rank 3) were scheduled to play later but couldn’t get a chance due to the 3-0 result.
It was an encouraging performance from a young Indian team, especially after Saina Nehwal was injured in the first group match against Spain. The bronze medalist from the London Olympics did not participate in the Uber Cup anymore. In the previous edition of the Uber Cup, India failed to reach the quarterfinals in 2018.
India will face Denmark in the Thomas Cup quarterfinals on Friday
The Indian men’s team finished second in Group C of the Thomas Cup after losing 1-4 to China in their last group tie on Thursday. India will now face host Denmark in the quarterfinals on Friday night.
Uber Cup Results (Quarter Finals)
India lost to Japan 0-3
Female Singles 1
Malvika Bansod lost to Akane Ymaguchi 12-21, 17-21 (34 minutes)
Women’s Doubles 1
Tanisha Crasto-Rutaparna Panda lost to Yuki Fukushima-Mayu Matsumoto 8-21, 10-21 (41 minutes)
Female Singles 2
Aditi Bhatt lost to Sayaka Takahashi 16-21, 7-21 (29 minutes).