The Indian men's badminton team began its Thomas Cup campaign in an emphatic manner, beating Germany 5-0 on Sunday. The women's team also put up an impressive 4-1 win over Canada, thus beginning their Uber Cup campaign on a winning note.
World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen started the proceeding with an easy 21-16, 21-13 win over world no 64 Max Weisskirchen.
The doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty had to dig deep as they were stretched to a three gamer by Jones Ralfy Jansen and Marvin Seidel. But they managed to prevail 21-15, 10-21, 21-13 in the match lasting close to an hour.
World no 11 Kidambi Srikanth then eked out a 18-21, 21-9, 21-11 win over Kai Schafer after a slow start to give India an unassailable 3-0 lead in the Group C tie. MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila handed Bjarne Geiss and Jan Colin Voelker a 25-23, 21-15 defeat in the second men's doubles tie as Indian continued its dominant display.
HS Prannoy, ranked 23rd in the world, then hardly broke a sweat as he completed a 5-0 win, with a 21-9, 21-9 victory over Matthias Kicklitz.
It was a perfect start for the Indian men's team, which is searching for its maiden medal at the tournament. No Indian men's team has ever reached the semifinals of the Thomas Cup. Last year, the men's team reached the quarterfinals before going out of the tournament. They will next play Canada on Monday followed by their final match against Chinese Taipei.
The women's team started off with PV Sindhu making short work of Canada's best hope in the singles, Michelle Li, beating her 21-17 21-10. Canada responded with an expected victory in the doubles contest, although the young pair of Shruti Mishra and Simran Singh impressed in their 19-21 12-21 loss to Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai.
Aakarshi Kashyap produced an incredible comeback to defeat Wen Yu Zhang in the second singles contest, eventually triumphing 17-21 21-18 21-17 after 50 minutes. The pair of Tanisha Crasto and Treesa Jolly wasted little time in beating Catherine Choi and Josephine Wu 21-9 21-15 to clinch the tie for India.
Ashmita Chaliha then produced a hard fought win over Rachel Chan to end the tie 4-1 in India's favour, with a 12-21 21-11 22-20 victory. India will face USA next on 10th May in the Uber Cup
The tournament is being shown on Sports18 and can be streamed on Voot.