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12 Oct, 2021
The Indian team produced an excellence performance, led by the young Indian brigade to advance into the QFs of the Uber Cup 2020. Playing their second match against Scotland at the Ceres Arena, in Aarhus, Denmark, Team India fielded a very inexperienced squad. Saina Nehwal was out with injury, and Tasnim Mir was drafted in to play one of the singles, while Gayathri Gopichand/Treesa Jolly came in to play the doubles.
Malvika Bansod went up against the experienced Kristy Gilmour and despite giving her more eminent opponent a tough fight, she lost in straight games to give the Scots an early advantage. Aditi Bhatt stepped up for the second of the singles encounter and she took apart Rachel Sudgen in just 26 minutes. Aditi raced to a 7-3 lead in the opening exchanges and never quite looked back to claim the opening game. The second game followed a similar pattern, and Aditi pocketed the game to draw India level.
The first of the women’s doubles was a crucial game, with the young Indian pair of Rutaparna Panda/Tanisha Crasto going up against the experienced Julie Macpherson/Ciara Torrance. The Indians made a steady start and edged ahead by the mid-game interval in the opening game, and then pushed the accelerator in the back half to completely blow away the Scotswoman. The second game was an even more of a one-sided affair, with the Indians barely giving the Scots a look in. It was all over, all too quickly.
India now needed to win just one of the two remaining encounters to seal the tie, and a spot in the QFs. In the last of the singles matches, Tasnim Mir was up against Lauren Middleton and she put up quite the exhibition of breath-taking stroke play. A tight opening game was won by the Indian in relatively easy fashion, and the second game turned out to be a bit of a walkover.
3-1 up in the tie, the Indians had managed to make it into the quarterfinals and the last game was a bit of a dead rubber. But then at the international stage there are no easy games, as Gayathri/Treesa took to the court for the last encounter of the day.
An uneventful first game, and a very healthy lead in the second meant that the Indians must have been entertaining thoughts of a comprehensive win. And yet, within no time, the Scots found a string of points, put the Indians under pressure and squared the match to force a decider. The Indian pair, however, managed to keep their nerves and took the match in three hard fought games.
With two wins out of two, India will qualify for the QFs, and their match against Thailand tomorrow will decide the group winner.