Uber Cup: Indian eves make history, enter semis to ensure bronze
New Delhi: India reached the semifinals of the Uber Cup badminton tournament for the first time in its history with a dominating 3-0 victory over Indonesia in the quarterfinals of the women's team championship at New Delhi's Siri Fort Sports complex on Thursday.
Saina led India's charge with a 21-17 21-10 win over Lindaweni Fanetri in a 45-minute match before PV Sindhu played out of her skin to eke out a hard-fought 21-16 10-21 25-23 victory over Bellaetrix Manuputty.
Saina Nehwal in action against Lindaweni Fanetri of Indonesia during their Uber Cup badminton quarter-final match at Siri Fort Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday. Pic/AFP
Commonwealth Games gold medallist pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa then sealed the tie in India's favour with a 21-18 21-18 win over Polii Greysia and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari in the first doubles.
India will take on Japan in the semifinals of the Uber Cup on Friday.
Playing the first singles, Saina struggled a bit initially to trail 5-11 at the interval. But, the Indian changed her tactics after the break as she kept tossing the shuttle at the back court and used angled drops and clever lifts to catch Lindaweni at the forecourt.
Saina snatched the lead from Lindaweni with a brilliant dribble at the net to move to 17-16.
Lindaweni again lost a couple of points at the forecourt and eventually hit wide to gave the first game to the Indian.
In the second game, Saina continued in the same vein and lead 11-4 at the breather when Lindaweni hit out after a rally which left a smile on the Indian's face.
Saina remained calm, despite some miscued shots and reached the match point after winning a line review and then Lindaweni found the net to give the match to the Indian.
Second seed Japan and former champions Korea also sailed into the last four of the Uber Cup with relative ease.
While Japan defeated Denmark 3-0, Korea bounced back after conceding the first singles to world champion Ratchanok Intanon to win 3-1 against Thailand.
In the Thomas Cup men's team championships, defending champions China spanked Thailand 3-0 to set up a semifinal clash against Japan, who survived a spirited performance from French skipper Brice Leverdez to win 3-1. China are chasing a record sixth consecutive title.