Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand fought hard before going down in three games to Bulgaria’s Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva in the women’s doubles pre-quarterfinals of the Malaysia Open on Thursday.
The Indian pair, ranked 16th in the world, lost 13-21, 21-15, 17-21 to the world No. 14 Stoeva sisters in an hour and nine minutes at the Axiata Arena.
The Stoeva sisters, who competed at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, were the better players in the opening game as they quickly jumped to a 6-0 lead and then held their fort, despite a mini fightback from the Indians, who brought the equation down to 9-12 at one stage.
The second game was a tight affair as Treesa and Gayatri kept breathing down their opponent’s neck before breaking off at 14-14 to take the match to the decider.
In the third game, the Indian pair had slender leads of 6-4 and 14-13, but the Bulgarian combination didn’t relent this time, moving ahead from 14-14 to seal the contest.
Treesa and Gayatri will meet France duo Margot Lambert and Anne Tran at India Open Super 750 next week.