New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Top seeds Lee Chong Wei and Saina Nehwal advanced to the second round while former Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat knocked out home favourite and World No.7 Parupalli Kahsyap from the first round of the $200,000 India Open Super Series here Wednesday.
In first round action at the Siri Fort Sports Complex, World No.1 Malaysian Lee Chong moved into the men’s singles second round by easing past Scott Evans of Ireland 21-16, 21-5 in 23 minutes.
In women’s singles, Saina also had a fairly easy outing against Belaetrix Manuputi of Indonesia, who lost 12-21, 15-21 in 33 minutes. Saina will meet unseeded Japanese Yui Hashimoto Thursday.
However, the talking point of the day was the Kashyap-Taufik clash where the Indonesian saved a matchpoint in the second game and came back to win the thriller 13-21, 23-21, 21-18 in exactly an hour, proving why he is such a legend.
As Kashyap was cheered by a fairly large crowd, Hidayat also found some support from Indian as well as Indonesian fans, who turned up in large numbers to watch the legend.
Kashyap started aggressively, lobbing regularly to the third court while Taufik appeared to be playing casually. The former World Champion tried to fight back but it showed that age was catching up with him. Kashyap, from 9-all, won six straight points and did not look back, winning the game with ease.
The second game was an extremely close affair as cross court smashes and drops proved to be vital to earn points, either way, as both players tried to outsmart each other by deceiving net play.
Though Kashyap led for most of the game, Hidayat made the most of his experience did not lose sight of his opponent keeping the points difference to a maximum of two. The Indonesian unleashed a wide range of crosscourt and backhand smashes, equalising at 18-all and reaching gamepoint (20-18).
Kashyap retaliated by hitting two body smashes right into Hidayat and won another to reach match point. The World No.26 answered by first equalising the score and then playing the shot of the match; a deceiving drop shot which sent Kashyap in one direction and the shuttle in another, levelling the match.
In the third game, Taufik displayed inexplicable skill with his trademark backhand sliced drops as he made the Hyderabadi move around like a top on the court. Kashyap got closer to victory once again at 18-16 but Hidayat right when it mattered bagged five straight points aided by some exquisite backhand drops, which caught Kashyap out of position, eventually losing the contest.
Another 20-year-old India K. Srikanth also caused an upset by defeating Danish fourth seed Jan O Jorgensen. Playing the World No.6 for the second time, the unseeded Indian took only 45 minutes to close the match 21-7, 18-21, 21-12 in men’s singles. The Indian had earlier lost to the Dane in Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold last month.
Women’s singles eighth seed P.V. Sindhu, beat Xue Yao 17-21, 21-18, 21-14 in 46 minutes to advance to the second round where she will face another Chinese Sun Yu.
Mixed doubles pair V. Diju and Jwala Gutta moved into the second round by beating England’s Chris Langridge and Heather Olver 19-21, 21-15, 21-16 in 53 minutes. They will next face Thai fourth seeds Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam in the next round.
However, both Jwala and Diju lost their women’s and men’s doubles matches, respectively.
Japan’s Misato Aratama and Megumi Taruno beat Jwala and Prajakta Sawant 21-19, 21-10 while Diju and Alwin Francis’ journey came to an end against Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda of Japan losing 18-21, 14-21.