An ailing Andrew Baggaley battled illness, Indian favourites and a rowdy home crowd in his men’s doubles semi-final defeat at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi this morning.
With Baggaley seeking his third men’s doubles final in three Games, he and his 17-year-old partner Liam Pitchford narrowly lost a tense early morning tie with the number one seeds Sharath Achanta and Subhajit Saha 3-2 after going ahead at the Yamuna Sports Complex.
“The match was touch and go,” said Baggaley who’s been suffering with Delhi belly for the last few days. “I am not well today, but I still played.
“There was a big chance for us to win the match. The Indian team really played well today and it was a very tight match. In the fourth set we should have won. It was a 50-50, but we didn’t succeed.”
Baggaley and Pitchford started swiftly, going 7-0 up in the first set. But were then pegged back to 7-7 before clinching the set 13-11. The Indians bounced back to take the second set 11-7, but fell behind again when conceding the third 11-7.
The English duo had a great chance to win when they held match point at 10-9 in the fourth set, but Achanta and Saha reeled off three points in a row to again level the semi-final. The momentum then swung the Indians way and they took the decider comfortably 11-6.
Baggaley’s dream of winning a fifth Commonwealth Games medal at his third Games reamains, however, as the duo play William Henzell and Robert Frank for bronze at 16:30 local time.
“We are still in the medal match,” said Baggaley, who won a team silver with England last week. “We are getting yet another chance to prove ourselves. We will try our best to win the bronze. We have a good chance against the Australians.”