Hosts Denmark shatter India’s dream with 3-1 win in Thomas Cup quarter-finals

The Indian men’s badminton team crashed out of the TotalEnergies BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark on Friday. The Indian women’s team bowed out from the tournament yesterday with a 3-0 defeat to Japan in the quarter-finals.

Hosts Denmark shattered India’s dream of winning an elusive medal with a 3-1 victory in the Thomas Cup quarter-finals. India entered the quarters for the first time since 2010.

Like in their previous outing against China, only the pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy managed to record victory. Even a thrilling victory by Chirag and Satwiksairaj could not inspire the other members of the side.

Barring Chirag-Satwik, the rest of the Indian shuttlers could not live up to expectations as India’s poor run in the biennial event continued. Much was expected from the two senior members of the side – Kidambi Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth – but they failed to rise to the occasion.

Struggling Kidambi Srikanth was outclassed by Tokyo Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen in the first singles. The world No. 2 did not have much of a problem with prevailing over Srikanth 21-12, 21-13 in 38 minutes.

World No. 14 Srikanth trailed throughout the first game. The closest the Indians could go near Axelsen was when the scoreline was 3-4. Thereafter, the tall Dane reeled off seven consecutive points to be 11-3 before rapidly closing the first game.

Srikanth and Axelsen were on level terms at the start of the second game. However, from 5-2, Axelsen notched up seven points on the trot to consolidate his lead. The home favorite then wrapped up the game to provide a 1-0 lead for the hosts.

Srikanth suffers fourth consecutive defeat against Viktor Axelsen

It was the fourth successive win for Axelsen over Srikanth. The Danish star has now increased his head-to-head record to 6-3. Srikanth’s last win came four years ago at the Denmark Open.

Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy bring India back with a brilliant win

Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, however, brought India back into the tie with a three-game win over Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.

The world No. 10 Indian duo won 21-15, 17-21, 21-18. The first men’s doubles match lasted one hour and 12 minutes. World No. 11 Kim and Anders had a better head-to-head (4-1) record against the Indians before this match. But Chirag and Satwik raised their bar with an outstanding display of power and aggression.

Denmark, however, regained the lead after world No. 3 Anders Antonsen dismissed Sai Praneeth 21-8, 21-15 in the second singles in 45 minutes.

The pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila then lost 16-21, 9-21 to Mathias Christiansen and Frederik Sogaard. This loss was in the second doubles to seal the tie in favor of Denmark.

In the fifth match of the tie, Sameer Verma was scheduled to play against Rasmus Gemke.

Thomas Cup Results (Quarter-final)

India lost to Denmark 1-3

Men’s singles 1

Kidambi Srikanth lost to Viktor Axelsen 12-21, 13-21 (38 minutes)

Men’s Doubles 1

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty bt Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen 21-15, 17-21, 21-18 (72 minutes)

Men’s singles 2

B Sai Praneeth lost to Anders Antonsen 8-21, 15-21 (45 minutes)

Men’s Doubles 2

MR Arjun-Dhruv Kapila lost to Mathias Christiansen-Frederik Sogaard 16-21, 9-21 (40 minutes).

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