Kunshan (China): The Indian women's team advanced to the quarter-finals of the Uber Cup badminton tournament despite losing 2-3 to Japan in the final group game at the Kunshan Sports Centre here on Wednesday.
After being 0-2 down, Japan staged a brilliant comeback to win the remaining three matches and top the group, pushing India to second in Group D.
Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu
The day started with London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal thrashing Nozomi Okuhara 21-18, 21-6 in the opening women's singles match to take a 1-0 lead.
World No.10 P.V. Sindhu doubled the lead when she beat Akane Yamaguchi 21-11, 21-18 in the second singles match.
However, Japan bounced back well in the doubles encounter as the duo of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi beat Jwala Gutta and Sikki Reddy 21-11, 21-8 to make it 2-1.
World No.12 Sayaka Sato then made it 2-2 as she beat No.113 Ruthvika Shivani Gadde 21-7, 21-14 in the third singles match.
The last match of the day turned out to be the decider which the Japanese duo of Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito won by defeating the combo of Ashwini Ponappa and Sindhu 15-21, 21-19, 21-16.