Thomas Cup 2024: India’s title defence ends with 3-1 loss to China in quarterfinals

Lakshya Sen was the only Indian to register a win as he came from a game down to beat Li Shi Feng in the second men’s singles.

Published : May 02, 2024 19:14 IST , CHENNAI - 3 MINS READ

Lakshya Sen in action at the Thomas and Uber Cup 2024 Finals in Chengdu, China.
Lakshya Sen in action at the Thomas and Uber Cup 2024 Finals in Chengdu, China. | Photo Credit: AFP

Lakshya Sen in action at the Thomas and Uber Cup 2024 Finals in Chengdu, China. | Photo Credit: AFP

India’s Thomas Cup title defence ended on Thursday after a 3-1 loss to China in the quarterfinals in Chengdu.

Two years after India claimed its maiden title at the World Men’s Team Championships, the country’s shuttlers endured a tough day in office as world No. 9 HS Prannoy, world No. 3 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and Dhruv Kapila and Sai Pratheek K failed to go the distance in their respective matches.

It was a rematch of the 2023 Asian Games team final which India lost 2-3 to sign off with a maiden silver.

The Indian team had ended its group stage at the second spot after losing 1-4 to Indonesia late on Wednesday, while the Chinese had an off day and the host seemed to be in better shape as it ticked all the boxes to come up trumps once again at the big stage.

A roaring start ended with a dampener for Prannoy as his spirited fight concluded with a 21-15, 11-21, 14-21 loss against world No. 2 Shi Yu Qi in a 66-minute clash which gave China a 1-0 lead.

“I don’t know but surely I think China had one day off and they came in (the contest) much more fresher. It makes a big difference in the third game. Unfortunate to kind of play today,” said Prannoy after the loss.

“I will say that we had a very long night and by the time we slept it was 1.32 (am) and to kind of get back to the energy levels I think is definitely less,” he added.

“Everybody was very disappointed last night (after the loss to Indonesia), but to come out and play such a big match against the home crowd in less than 13 to 14 hours is a big task mentally out there because you just lost out with a big opponent like Indonesia,” said Prannoy.

For the second successive day, Satwik and Chirag had to walk back without logging a point for India after they were outmanoeuvred 15-21, 21-11, 12-21 by the world No. 1 pair of Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang as the visitor slipped to 0-2.

All eyes were on Lakshya Sen to keep India afloat, given his 6-3 head-to-head count against Li Shi Feng, and the 22-year-old from Almora lived up to the expectations, seeing off the world No. 6 13-21, 21-8, 21-14 to pull one back.

However, Dhruv and Sai went down 10-21, 10-21 to world No. 11 pair of Ren Xiang Yu and He Ji Ting to end India’s hopes.

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