The Indian men's and women's tennis teams were knocked out from their respective quarterfinal matches of the 17th Asian Games at the Yeorumul Tennis Courts at Incheon on Monday.Â (Day 3 Live | Medals Tally)
Kazakhstan proved to be the stumbling block, knocking out both the Indian men (1-2) and women (1-2) with relative ease and similar margins. Dipika Pallikal loses to Nicol David in semis, settles for Bronze.
In the men's category, Sanam Singh was somewhat unlucky to lose in straight sets 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3) in the first rubber against Aleksandr Nedovyesov. (More Glory in Shooting for India)
The 397th ATP ranked Indian, fought till the very end in both the sets but lost key points during the tie-break when it most mattered to hand the Kazakhs a 1-0 lead.
A lot was expected from Yuki Bhambri, especially in the absence of the top ranked Indian - Somdev Devvarman - but the 22-year-old lost 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), 1-6 to Mikhail Kukushkin in two hours and three minutes.
Bhambri, ranked 187th, fought back valiantly after meekly surrendering the first set in just 28 minutes. The second went right down to the wire but the Indian managed to just about edge his opponent.
Inexplicably, Bhambri again seemed to lose focus and was completely dominated in the final set as Kazakhstan took an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Doubles team of Saketh Myneni and Divij Sharan managed to retain some pride for the Indians, beating Kazakh pair Andrey Golubev and Nedovyesov 7-5, 7-5 to end their participation on a positive note.
Earlier, the Indian women's tennis team also lost 1-2 to second seeds Kazakhstan.
India started poorly as Prarthana Thombare lost the first rubber in straight sets 3-6, 2-6 to Yuliya Putintseva in an hour and 24 minutes.
Ankita Raina put up a much better fight before going down 5-7, 6-7(3-7) to Yaroslava Shvedova, giving Kazakhstan a 2-0 unassailable lead.
The Indian doubles pair of Marie Anne Natasha Palha and Rishika Sunkara won the inconsequential third rubber after the Kazakh pair of Yuliya and Kamila Kerimbayeva retired at the score of 2-3 in the first set.