New Delhi: India's campaign at the Thomas Cup badminton tournament came to a premature end, following a 2-3 defeat of the men's team against Korea at the Siri Fort Sports complex here today.
India needed to win all their singles matches and skipper Parupalli Kashyap and RMV Gurusaidutt produced brilliant performances but young Kidambi Srikanth failed to win the first singles early in the day.
India will play their inconsequential third tie against Germany on Wednesday. The home team did not get the start they were looking for as world number 18 Srikanth squandered a one-game advantage to go down fighting 21-17 12-21 18-21 to the world number nine Wan Ho Son in an hour and 11 minutes-match.
B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri did try their best and led 18-14 in the first game but they let the opportunity slip and eventually ended with an 18-21, 17-21 defeat against Yeon Seong Yoo and Yong Dae Lee, as India lagged 0-2.
Captain of the side, Kashyap kept his team in the hunt with a comfortable 21-17, 21-14 win over Lee Dong Keun in the second singles. However, the doubles pair of Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Jerry Chopra lost 16-21 16-21 to the world number four combo of Kim Sa Rang and Kim Ki Jung within half an hour in the next match as India lost the tie 1-3.
Gurusaidutt once again came up with a stellar performance to register a 24-22, 21-13 win over Hwang Jong Soo in the third singles as India finished with a 2-3 scoreline.
Playing the first singles, Srikanth was leading 8-2 in the first game but Wan soon tried to dominate and clawed back to lead 11-10.
The Indian found his rhythm back after the interval and used his down the line smashes to march ahead and reached the game point with Wang hitting long. He hit one wide but grabbed the next point to pocket the game.
In the second game, Srikanth and Wan fought tooth and nail to move together till 7-7 when the Korean moved ahead and opened up a 13-8 lead and eventually roared back into contest without much ado.
In the decider, Wan opened up a two-point lead at the break and continued his good run to once again surge ahead to 15-10 and then 19-14.
Srikanth tried to turn things around with a few points but Wan kept him at bay to help Korea log their first point on board. Gurusaidutt once again produced a gritty performance in the third singles as he held his nerves in crucial moments, especially in the first game to come up trumps.
From 10-10 to 20-20, both the shuttlers were engaged in a fierce battle of attrition but it was Guru who had the last laugh when at 22-22, he came up with two brilliant net shots to earn the bragging rights.
In the second game, Guru didn't break much sweat as he lead 5-1 initially and went into the interval with an 11-7 lead. He kept the Korean on a tight leash even after the break and earned a eight-point match point when Hwang hit long. He sealed the match in the next chance to bring some smiles back to the Indian camp.