Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand reached their second consecutive semi-final at the All England Championships in Birmingham on Saturday as the Indian duo capped off a sensational run. The two young badminton players struggled against South Korea’s world number 20 Baek Naha and Lee So Hee, losing 10-21 10-21 in the 46-minute women’s doubles match at the Utilita Arena. “We learned a lot from this game. The difference is that they didn’t keep the ball and we did panic a little bit,” Gayatri said after the game. Tresa added: “When we played against them, they defended well, much better than yesterday. We just panicked, didn’t play well, we kept attacking.” Gayatri’s father, Pullela Gopichand, is the national team chief. Coach, who was the last Indian to win the All England title in 2001, the first being the legendary Prakash Padukone in 1980.
Gayatri, 20, and Treesa, 19, had a good chance of reaching the final, but the match ended anticlimactic as they lost to the Korean.
“I’m nervous. There’s pressure,” Gayatri said.
The world No. 17 pair will face Baek and Lee, an experienced player who has won two world championship medals with former partner Shin Seung-chan.
In fact, Lee and Shin faced the Indian duo in defeat in the previous tournament, but the new duo of Lee and Baek beat the second and eighth seeds relentlessly this week and looked Very hands-on master class.
The South Koreans turned into a recycling machine, they defended seamlessly and extended rallies with lobs and weight lifts to prevent the Indians from playing their short flat rally.
As a result, Gayatri and Teresa failed to get off to the start they had earlier in the week, trailing 4-0 at the start.
Lee and Baek frustrated the Indians with longer rallies as they waited patiently for their opponents to make mistakes. South Korea led 11-5.
In short, the Indians led 9-13, but it was 14-10 one-way traffic, with the Koreans scoring seven points in a row, including Gayatri’s last, which was first blood.
Instead of hitting the ball in front of the net, the Korean continued to hit more lobs, while the Indian stuck to it in the backcourt.
Gayatri and Treesa couldn’t change their tactics, and Lee and Baek extended their huge 11-2 lead too many times at halftime of the second game.
Gayatri has had her moments of brilliance, combining body shots with shots to make it 5-11 after the restart, but such instances are far too rare.
The Indians managed just five points before Teresa netted 10 match points to the Koreans, who sealed their place in the final after another long rally.
Despite the defeat, it was a good week for the young Indians, who have only started playing together in 2021 and reached the semi-finals in the last edition after qualifying from the reserve squad. Surprise everyone.
This time around, Gayatri and Teresa entered the tournament with a Commonwealth Games bronze medal, beating higher-ranked pairings such as world No. 7 Tan Pearly and Thinnah Muralitharan at the Asian Badminton Mixed Team Championships in February.
Gayatri and Treesa grabbed some big heads, such as seventh-seeded Thai duo Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Ravindra Prajongjai in the early rounds this week, and Japan’s former world number one Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota.
“We’ve played against some good players and the confidence is there. So we’re looking forward to the next game. We still have a lot to learn. We’ll come back stronger,” Tresa signed.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from syndicated feeds.)
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