New Delhi: The Indian men’s badminton team blanked lower-ranked Netherlands 5-0 in its opening Group C tie to make a winning start at the Thomas Cup Final.
Taking the court first, Kidambi Srikanth beat Joran Kweekel 21-12 21-14 in a men’s singles clash on Sunday night before the doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty sailed past the Dutch pair of Ruben Jille and Ties van der Lecq 21-19 21-12 to hand India a 2-0 advantage.
World championship bronze-medallist B Sai Praneeth then demolished Robin Mesman 21-4 21-12 in just 27 minutes in the second singles match to give India an unassailable 3-0 lead.
MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila next defeated Andy Buijk and Brian Wassink 21-12 21-13 in the second doubles tie before Sameer Verma made the clean sweep, beating Gijs Duijs 21-6 21-11 in the third and final singles match.
Earlier on Sunday, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal was forced to retire midway through her opening match but India’s young women’s team produced a clinical display to notch up a fine 3-2 win over Spain in the Uber Cup Final.
India’s men’s team will next play another weak opponent in Tahiti in the Thomas Cup on Tuesday, while the country’s women shuttlers will be up against Scotland in Group B.