Uber Cup: India off to a great start with a win over Canada in the tournament opener

Ashmita Chaliha at Uber Cup

A young and inexperienced Indian women’s team under the leadership of Ashmita Chaliha began their Uber Cup journey in a sensational manner. Playing in China, India blanked Canada in their first group-stage match in an emphatic win on Saturday, 27 April.

Ashmita Chaliha leads the way at the Uber Cup

The Indian team, led by the young and dynamic Ashmita Chaliha, displayed exceptional skill and determination. Chaliha ranked 53rd in the world, pulled off a stunning upset against the higher-ranked Michelle Li of Canada. Despite being pitted against a former top-10 player, Chaliha held her nerve, saving game points in both sets to secure a crucial victory for India.

Following Chaliha’s lead, the women’s doubles pair of Priya Konjengbam and Shruti Mishra dominated the court. They comfortably defeated Catherine Choi and Jeslyn Chow 21-12, 21-10 in 27 minutes, extending India’s lead to 2-0. Their victory was a testament to their skill and the depth of talent in India’s badminton scene.

The momentum continued with Isharani Baruah securing a convincing win against her Canadian opponent Wen Yu Zhang 21-13, 21-12. Baruah’s triumph gave India an unassailable 3-0 lead, demonstrating the team’s fighting spirit and exceptional talent.

However, the tournament opener was not without its challenges. In the second doubles match, Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker faced a setback, losing to the Canadian duo of Jackie Dent and Crystal Lai in straight sets. Despite this loss, the Indian team remained undeterred.

The final singles match saw national champion Anmol Kharb take on Eliana Zhang of Canada. Kharb, displaying excellent technique and unwavering determination, defeated Zhang 21-15, 21-11. This victory sealed a comfortable win for India, concluding the tournament opener with a score of 4-1 in India’s favour.

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