Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty scripted history by becoming the first Indian men's doubles pair to win two badminton matches at the Olympics after defeating Great Britain's Ben Lane and Sean Vendy 21-17, 21-19 on Tuesday.
However, they missed out on the quarterfinals as three teams finished with two wins each in their group. With the other two teams having a superior game difference, the Indian duo finished third in the group.
Ranked 10th in the world, the Indians beat the world no. 18 team in a 44-minute Group A men's doubles match at the Musashino Forest Plaza.
However, they couldn't make it to the knockout stage as they finished third in their behind the top-ranked Indonesian team of Marcus Gideon Fernaldi and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and world no. three pairing of Yang Lee and Wang Chi-Lin of Chinese Taipei.
The Indian pair's loss against the Indonesians on Monday cost them dear as they failed to win a single game in that match, whereas the other two teams managed to win a game in the match that they lost, which ultimately proved to be the difference.
Moments before the Indian pair stepped on court, Lee and Wang completed a three-game win over Sukamuljo and Gideon in the preceding group match to render the result of India's contest against Britain inconsequential.
Only the top two pairs of each group advance to the the quarterfinals.
At the London Olympics in 2012, Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta too had endured a similar fate, when they bowed out on account of points difference after they had tied with two other pairs in the group stage.
The Indian duo looked in good rhythm as they opened up a narrow 5-3 lead but the English pair came soon moved ahead 11-10 at the break. Rankireddy and Shetty slowly started to dominate the proceedings and eventually grabbed the opening game when Lane hit wide.
They again marched to a 6-3 lead in the second game and had a two-point advantage at the interval. The Indian duo kept their nose ahead at 16-13, riding on the errors of their opponents.
The English pair scripted a mini comeback, drawing parity at 18-18 and also led after Satwik netted a return of serve. The Indians, however, were alert as they quickly drew level before converting their first match point with ease to end their campaign on a high.