All England Open: India’s challenge ends as Gayatri-Treesa lose in semis

Birmingham: India’s campaign at the prestigious All England Open Championships come to an end with a semifinal loss to the women’s doubles pair of Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly here on Saturday.

Playing at Axiata Arena, the Indian duo lost to the South Korean pair of Ha Na Baek and So Hee Lee 10-21, 10-21.

The Indians caused a stir last year by making the semifinals after being promoted from the reserves list, where they went down in two sets to China’s Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu.

In the semifinal played on Saturday, Gayatri and Treesa pair got off to a poor start and was trailing the Koreans after the opening exchanges. The Indians rallied to reduce the scoreboard deficit midway through but a flurry of unforced errors cost them the opening game.

After the change of sides, the Indian pair failed to shift the momentum into their favour and the Koreans raced to a solid 11-2 lead. Despite engaging in long rallies, the Indians were unable to get back into the match as the Koreans put on a clinical display to bag the 46-minute-long duel.

On Friday, India’s young women’s doubles sensation defeated China’s Li Wen Mei and Liu Xuan Xuan after coming from a game down 21-14, 18-21, 21-12, to make it to the semifinals for the second successive year.

Earlier Gayatri and Treesa, who won a bronze medal in Commonwealth Games 2022 at Birmingham, had knocked out the world No. 9 Japanese pair of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota in their Round of 16 match.

The duo had started their campaign with a 21-18, 21-14 straight games victory against the seventh-seeded Thai pair of Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai, their first

The young women’s pair was the only Indians left in the tournament as the last year’s finalist Lakshay Sen, HS Prannoy, and Kidambi Srikanth, men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty bowed out after suffering losses in their respective second round matches on Thursday.

In the women’s singles, ace shuttler and two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu was knocked out in the first round while former world No. 1 Saina Nehwal pulled out of the tournament.


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