Sudirman Cup 2021: India outclassed by Thailand in opening encounter

India are up against defending champions China in their next matchup in the ongoing Sudirman Cup.

Kidambi Srikanth
Kidambi Srikanth

Team India has got off to a rough start in the Sudirman Cup 2021 as they lost to Thailand. The three-time semifinalists thumped their fellow Asian nation 4-1 to boost their hopes of making it to the quarterfinals. The young Indian side was no match to their Thai compatriots who were right on the money from the get-go.

With PV Sindhu and the men’s doubles duo of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy missing from the side, the onus was on senior players in Kidambi Srikanth, B Sai Praneeth and women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy to carry the team through. But they faltered on the court as the men’s pairing of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila were the only bright spot for the side.

MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila notch up India’s first win at Sudirman Cup 2021

MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila at Sudirman Cup 2021
MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila at Sudirman Cup 2021

Arjun and Kapila’s impressive 21-18 21-17 win over Supak Jomkoh and Kittinupong Kedren, ranked 147th, in men’s doubles was the only highlight for India in a disappointing outing at the Sudirman Cup. The 47th ranked Indian duo did well to keep their noses in front despite constant pressure from the Thai’s as they went on to clinch the game in straight sets.

Among others, former world No. 1 Srikanth was no match for three-time world junior champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn, as he went down 9-21, 19-21 in 50 minutes. On the other hand, Sikki and Ashwini were no match to the world No. 8 combination of Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai during a 21-23 8-21 loss.

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