AARHUS, Denmark, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's men's badminton team secured a place in the Thomas Cup quarterfinals by beating India in the final round of group play here at the Ceres Arena on Thursday.
Shi Yuqi made a perfect start for China by outplaying Srikanth Kidambi 21-12, 21-16 in the singles' opener, after having been on the sidelines during the previous two rounds.
"Compared with other players, we are less experienced," said Shi. "I want to contribute more to my team and ease the pressure on my teammates. I believe chances will be on our side if every one of us tries hard."
China's new pair of He Jiting and Zhou Haodong lost to Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty 14-21, 14-21 in the second doubles match, marking China's first defeat in the tournament's group stage and tying the score at 1-1.
"We did not do well most of the time today, but our opponents finished strong attacks," said 23-year-old Zhou. "We were probably not well prepared and fell into traps as the game wore on."
Lu Guangzu then edged Sameer Verma 14-21, 21-9, 24-22, collecting one more point to give China a 2-1 lead.
"I had too many turnovers in the first set and the decider when the scores went to 13-13. I had hoped to finish smart and strong, but on the contrary, I was losing points too quickly. When Sameer got the match point, my tactics still worked and I was lucky to turn the game."
In the final two matches, Liu Cheng and Wang Yilyu smashed Madathil Ramachandran Arjun and Dhruv Kapila 26-24, 21-19, before Li Shifeng defeated Kiran George 21-15, 21-17.
The quarterfinals will take place on Friday, with the draw taking place on Thursday. Enditem