Thomas and Uber Cup 2022: Fans & players react to Indian men’s team reaching the semifinal

In the end, HS Prannoy won the contest by beating Leong Jun Hao in a lopsided match to send the team into the last-four stage.

Kidambi Srikanth in a file photo: Twitter/@srikidambi

The Indian men’s badminton team made the entire country take notice of their achievement on Thursday by reaching their first Thomas Cup semi-final in 43 years. The spirited Indian side defeated Malaysia 3-2 to book their last four passage, where they will take on Denmark. It is the first time the team has reached this stage since 1979. The men’s team had to overcome a setback in the opening rubber to prevail over the Malaysians in a nail-biting tie. In the end, HS Prannoy won the contest by beating Leong Jun Hao in a lopsided match to send the team into the last-four stage.  

The Indian side got off to a poor start when their highest-ranked men’s singles player – Lakshya Sen, who is World No.9 – lost the opening rubber to World No.6 Lee Zii Jia. The Malaysian survived a tight opening game before easing his way to clinching the game in the second by beating Lakshya 23-21, 21-9. Next up for India was Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who were up against the in-form Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin. After the Indians prevailed in a nail-biting first game, the second game was no different. However, at 14-14, the Indian duo went on a roll and secured seven points while giving away just one to clinch the match 21-19, 21-15.

READ MORE – Thomas and Uber Cup 2022: Indian men’s team reach semifinal

Indian men’s team complete the comeback

Kidambi Srikanth, who is the world championships silver medallist, put India in the driver’s seat with a pivotal win. World No.11 Srikanth defeated NG Tze Yong in straight games, 21-11, 21-17. Malaysia, however, bounced back from the setback to level the score in the fourth rubber. Aaron Chia and Teo Ee Yi beat the Indian duo of Krishna Prasad and Vishnuvardhan Panjala Yi 21-19, 21-17. Then the stage was set for HS Prannoy to script history in the final tie. Leong Jun Hao was no match for Prannoy, as the Indian won the match 21-13, 21-8.

The same cannot be said for the Indian women’s team though who lost against Thailand in the Uber Cup. It all started with double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu losing to Ratchanok Intanon in three games. Sindhu, who is the World No.7, won the first game. However, Intanon, who is World No. 8, clinched the next two games, as the Indian ace lost the match 21-18, 17-21, 12-21. Then, the doubles pair of Shruti Mishra and Simran Singhi lost to Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai 21-16, 21-13 in the second rubber. Finally, World No.10 Pornpawee Chochuwong defeated 54th-ranked Aakarshi Kashyap 21-16, 21-11. Despite the women’s team getting knocked out, fans and other sports personalities were quick to identify the positive showing of the men’s team.

Sportslumo Desk

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