India lose to France in Thomas Cup Final

BANGKOK, May 20: Young Indian male shuttlers made a disastrous start to their campaign at the Thomas Cup Final as they suffered a 1-4 loss to France in a group A opening match to jeopardise their chances of qualifying for the knockout stage, here today.
World no 18 B Sai Praneeth gave India a positive start, defeating France’s Brice Leverdez 21-7 21-18 to take a 1-0 lead but none of the other players could step up when it mattered.
In the second match, world no 38 Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok wilted under pressure, losing 13-21 16-21 to Bastian Kersaudy and Julien Maio, ranked 47th.
Swiss Open champion Sameer Verma, ranked 21, was then handed the responsibility of bringing India back in the contest but he went down 18-21 22-20 18-21 to Lucas Corvee, ranked 43rd, in the second singles as France grabbed a 2-1 lead.
World no 70 Arun George and Sanyam Shukla then took the field in the second doubles match but they were no match for 103 ranked Thom Gicquel and Ronan Labar, losing 10-21 12-21 in a 28-minute duel.
Lakshya Sen then fought hard before losing 20-22 21-19 19-21 to Toma Junior Popov in the third singles.
India will next face Australia tomorrow. (AGENCIES)