New Delhi: P Kashyap and Arvind Bhat starred
in a 4-1 routing of Australia as India advanced to the last
eight stage of the Thomas Cup Finals but the women`s team went
down 1-4 to Korea, despite Saina Nehwal`s thrilling win over
Seung Hee Bae in the Uber Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday.
Kashyap set the ball rolling for India, spanking Jeff Tho
21-8, 21-10 in a 26-minute match, while Arvind Bhat and
Gurusaidutt also won their respective matches to put India 3-0
ahead after the first three singles.
Arvind beat Chad Whitehead 21-6, 21-12, while Gurusaidutt
took 25 minutes to pack off Stuart Gomez 21-15, 21-13.
The only blot in the men`s team was the 20-22, 18-21
thrashing Sanave Thomas and Rupesh Kumar received at the hands
of Glenn Warfe and Ross Smith in first men`s doubles.
However, V Diju and Akshay Dewalkar swept past Raj Veeran
and Chad Whitehead 21-12, 21-17 to wrap up the day with a 4-1
victory over the hapless Aussies.
"It was a satisfying day for us but I am a little
surprised by the doubles loss. It was unexpected but otherwise
everybody played upto the mark. There will be a draw of the
lot and we will come to know tonight whom we play tomorrow,"
Arvind told reporters from Kuala Lumpur.
Asked about the conditions, Arvind said, "It is a little
windy inside and so there is a bit of drift so the shuttle
moves more in the air. But we cannot complain because it is
same for our rivals."
The women`s Uber Cup team, which had already reached the
quarters yesterday, however, had a tough day as none apart
from Saina could get past the formidable Koreans.
World number six Saina started the Indian proceedings,
carving out a hard-fought 22-20, 18-21, 17-21 win over Seung Hee
Bae in a 66-minute marathon battle.
But the Korean were quick to draw parity with Hyo Jung
Lee and Min Jung Kim seeing off Jwala Gutta and Ashwini
Ponnappa 21-11, 21-13 in the first women`s doubles match.
Levelled 1-1, pressure was on Aditi Mutatkar to bring
India back into the tie and the Pune girl snatched the first
game 23-21 from Ji Hyun Sung to start on a positive note.
But the world number 26 Korean bounced back to take her
team to a 3-1 lead, rendering the last two matches of merely
Shruti Kurian and Aparna Balan went down 13-21, 11-21 to
Kyung Won Lee and Jung Eun Ha in the second women`s doubles,
while a gritty Sayali Gokhale played a brilliant game before
losing 10-21, 21-19, 12-21 to Yun Hwa Lee in 47 minutes.