India loses to Thailand in Thomas Cup opener

Indian ace shuttler Ajay Jayaram’s gallant fight ended in a defeat in the opening match as Indian men’s team suffered a 1-3 loss against Thailand in its campaign-opener at the Thomas Cup badminton tournament.

Sai Praneeth registered the only win in India's best of five contest against Thailand.   -  Nagara Gopal (File Photo)

Indian ace shuttler Ajay Jayaram’s gallant fight ended in a defeat in the opening match as Indian men’s team suffered a 1-3 loss against Thailand in its campaign-opener at the Thomas Cup badminton tournament.

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World No. 21 Jayaram took the court to start the proceedings against Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk but he suffered a mid-match collapse to lose 16-21, 21-12, 14-21 in a 46-minute men’s singles match.

Olympic-bound men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy B. also suffered a 17-21, 6-21 loss against Thailand’s Bodin Issara and Nipitphon Puangpuapech in a 30-minute match as India slipped to a 0-2 deficit. In the second men’s singles match, Sai Praneeth B. notched up a 21-11, 21-16 win against Khosit Phetpradab in 36 minutes to make it 1-2.

Unassailable lead

In the second doubles, Akshay Dewalkar and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy again lost 15-21, 21-14, 15-21 to Thailand's pair of Puavaranukroh Dechapol and Kedren Kittinupong in a 56-minute to take an unassailable 3-1 lead, rendering the fifth tie between Sourabh Varma and Adulrach Namkul inconsequential.

Jayaram blew a 7-5 lead in the opening match after Tanongsak broke off at 8-8 to eventually pocket the opening match. In the second game, Jayaram turned the tables after advancing from 7-7 to bounce back. In the decider, the Indian ran out of steam as he was left to do the catching up act from 3-3 as the Thai shuttler earned a 1-0 lead for his country.

India will next take on Hong Kong on Tuesday.

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