The Indian badminton women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand suffered yet another early exit as they went down fighting to Annie Xu and Kerry Xu in the opening round of the 2024 Spain Masters Super 300 in Madrid on Tuesday.

The fifth seeded Indian pair lost 18-21, 22-20, 18-21 in 61 minutes to the lower-ranked duo from America. This defeat comes just days after after Treesa and Gayatri had defeated the same opponents at the 2024 Swiss Masters Super 300 last week.

Treesa and Gayatri, ranked 26th in the world, started off well but soon found themselves trailing 10-11 at the mid-game interval. Though the Indians equalised at 16-16, the Xu twins found momentum just at the right time to pocket the opening game 21-18.

The Americans continued to dominate in the second game and led 19-15, but with the match on the line Treesa and Gayatri fought back to force a decider at 22-20, saving a match point along the way.

The American pair raced to an early lead in the decider, but the Indians managed to equalise at 8-8. The joy, however, was short-lived as the Xu sisters opened up an 11-9 lead before the change of ends.

Treesa and Gayatri kept the pressure on in the latter half of the decider, but eventually fell short.

Arjun and Kapila advance

Meanwhile, the men’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila advanced to the Round of 16 with a 21-18, 21-17 win over Mexico’s Jab Castillo and Luis Navarro.

The Indians, who are seeded eighth in the competition, never looked in any trouble as they brushed past the lower-ranked opponents in just 32 minutes.

The other men’s doubles pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Sai Pratheek also advanced to the second round with a 21-15, 28-30, 21-11 hard fought win over Canada’s fourth seeds Adam Dong and Nyl Yakura in 61 minutes.

Men’s singles shuttler Mithun Manjunath, meanwhile, qualified for the main draw by beating Liao Jhuo Fu 21-16, 21-12 in the qualification quarter-final.

Manjunath had earlier defeated fellow Indian Sankar Muthusamy 15-21, 24-22, 21-18 in the qualification round of 16.