Korea Open Super 500: Kashyap advances to pre-quarters, PV Sindhu & Saina Nehwal bow out
2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap was the lone Indian survivor after he outclassed China’s Lu Chia Hung in straight games
On a day of shambolic performances from Indian shuttlers, Parupalli Kashyap was the only silver lining as seven out of the eight shuttlers in the fray crashed out in the first round of the ongoing Korea Open Super 500. 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Kashyap was the lone survivor, advancing to R2 after he outclassed China’s Lu Chia Hung in straight games of 21-16 21-16.
Billed as the biggest match of the day, recent World Champion bronze winner Sai Praneeth took on Danish stalwart and fifth seed Anders Antonsen. However, owing to injury Praneeth had to retire hurt ending India’s hopes in the men’s singles category.
Up next, the Indian men’s doubles team of Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty, who scripted history by winning the Thailand Open Super 500 back in August also failed to replicate the success. The first Indian duo to win a Super 500 title, Satwik and Chirag went down fighting to end their campaign in R1. Playing fourth-seed Japanese pair of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda, the Indian duo put up a resilient effort but eventually could not cross the line losing the battle 21-19 18-21 21-18 in a contest that lasted almost an hour.
Going down in the first game by a slender margin of 19-21, Satwik and Chirag scripted a turnaround in the second. Making amends for their errors, the young duo displayed exemplary combination in the middle to clinch the second game at 21-18 and extend the match to the decider. It was an extremely tight contest in the final game as the Indians fell a little short conceding it by a narrow margin of 18-21.
India’s leading female shuttlers - PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal too suffered a similar fate. While the reigning World champion succumbed to USA’s Beiwen Zhang, India’s shuttle queen Saina Nehwal had to pull out owing to an injury.
After facing an early exit in last week’s China Open Super 1000, PV Sindhu failed to overturn her fortunes, going out once again in the open round against Between Zhang. With a 3-0 win record in the head-to-head over the American, Sindhu was dubbed the favourite to win.
The other men’s doubles team in the fray, Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Atri couldn’t either spring up a surprise. Despite going down in the first game, the Indian pair brought their experience into play to pull the match back from the jaws of defeat and keep themselves in the hunt by securing the second game. With the match down to the decider, it was just a sheer battle of nerves. Manu and Sumeeth did well to stretch the game down to the wire but ultimately succumbed to a 21-16 19-21 21-18 loss.