Gronya and Wendy’s dream run at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games came to an end at the NEC Arena this evening as they missed out on the bronze medal at the hands of India’s fourth seeds, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Pullela.
Wendy, who is usually a singles player, teamed up with Gronya in Birmingham and despite plenty of playing experience between them, this was only their third tournament together.
The pair enjoyed a comfortable ride through the first two rounds before they caused a huge upset in yesterday’s quarterfinal, when they defeated the third seeded Canadians, Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai. However, they couldn’t repeat the same success in the earlier semifinal against the second seeds from England, Lauren Smith and Chloe Birch.
Consequently, the Australian duo found themselves competing for bronze this evening against a pair which they defeated only one week ago in the Mixed Team event. The bronze medal playoff is familiar territory for Gronya who was in the same position four years ago at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games with her previous partner Setyana Mapasa (who retired after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games), narrowly missing out on the bronze medal against India’s Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy (21-19 21-19).
In today’s match, India started off strong, bringing a faster intensity and greater variety to the game which the Canadians lacked the night before. The Australian’s showed small glimpses of hope as they stayed within arms reach of the Indian’s, but they could not capitalise on key opportunities to win enough consecutive points to overtake, allowing Treesa and Gayatri to win the first game.
It was a similar story in the second, until the Australian’s managed to catch up at 17-17 and rattle the nerves of the usually confident 19-year-old opponents. However, the Indian duo quickly ran away with the lead once again and seized the bronze medal opportunity on the second time of asking.
Treesa Jolly/Gayatri Pullela (IND) vs Gronya Somerville/Wendy Chen (AUS) 21-15 21-18
“We lost our last game against them in the team event, [so this time] we planned to be a lot more attacking and stronger in defence“, says Treesa Jolly
Women’s doubles was the fourth out of five bronze medal matches to be played this evening, to be followed by the men’s doubles. Check out all results from the bronze medal matches here.
FINALS – Monday 8 August 2022
The gold medal matches, featuring players from India, Canada, England, Singapore and Malaysia will take place on the final day of the Games – Monday 8 August 2022, from 8am local time (BST).
Follow all tournament results on the official tournament website here.