India out of Uber Cup after losing 0-5 to Japan


BANGKOK, May 23: Saina Nehwal squandered four match points in her singles match as a young Indian women team bowed out of the Uber Cup after being hammered 0-5 by five-time champions Japan in a group A match on Wednesday.
India had won two bronze medals in the last edition but the team without top shuttlers such as PV Sindhu and Ashwini Ponnappa, was no match for the top seeds.
Saina seemed extremely fit and dominated the match before a series of unforced errors in the fag end saw her blow away four match points to lose 19-21, 21-9, 20-22 to world No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi in the opening match.
Doubles pair of Sanyogita Ghorpade and Prajakta Sawant then lost 15-21 6-21 to world no 4 Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo.
Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka had the tall task of taming world champion Nozomi Okuhara but the young shuttler lost 10-21 13-21 in just 26 minutes as Japan took the match away from India.
In the fourth match, Vaishnavi Bhale and Meghana Jakkampudi went down 8-21 17-21, while Aruna Prabhudesai lost 12-21 7-21 to end the proceedings.
Indian women’s team had lost to Canada 1-4 but they won 5-0 against Australia in group A.
In the opening match, Saina made a determined effort but the errors in the fag end proved costly.
In the first game, both the players probed the four corners of the court with their cross court returns. The drift also posed problems but Yamaguchi showed better control to zoom to a 11-7 lead at the break.
Saina showed tremendous grit to fight back from 9-16 down to narrow the difference but lost the game 19-21. She got a few points with her measured returns at the back line. However, a deceptive return of serve sealed it for the Japanese in the end. (PTI)