Ashmita Chaliha causes upset as PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma launch India Open campaign in style

India's Ashmita Chaliha upset fifth seed Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia 24-22, 21-16 in New Delhi on Tuesday.
India's Ashmita Chaliha upset fifth seed Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia 24-22, 21-16 in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Ashmita Chaliha caused a major upset on the opening day of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall, New Delhi, on Tuesday.

Unseeded Ashmita Chaliha knocked out fifth seed Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia to emerge as India’s star on Day 1 of the HSBC BWF World Tour 500 tournament.

Ashmita and most other Indians, including top seeds PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth, launched their campaign on a winning note.

Ashmita, who had stretched PV Sindhu in the last senior nationals in Guwahati, put in a wonderful performance against the Russian star and managed a confidence-boosting victory.

Meanwhile, Hot favorite PV Sindhu eased past compatriot Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli 21-5, 21-16 in just under half an hour. World No. 7 Sindhu toyed with Krishna Priya in the opening game. Though Sindhu relaxed a bit in the second, the former world champion never needed to hit top gear during the 27-minute encounter against Krishna Priya, ranked 118 in the world.

“First match is always important and I did not take it easy. I went with the flow and finished it off,” Sindhu said after the match.
Top seed PV Sindhu beat Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli 21-5, 21-16 in the first round
Top seed PV Sindhu beat Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli 21-5, 21-16 in the first round

Sindhu will take on another Indian, Ira Sharma, in the second round. Ira Sharma thumped Doha Hany of Egypt 21-10, 21-11 in a first round match that lasted 23 minutes.

In another first-round enocunter, promising teenager Anupama Upadhyaya shocked higher-ranked Mugdha Agrey 21-11, 21-15 in 41 minutes.

Ashmita Chaliha stuns fifth seed Russian Evgeniya Kosetskaya

Southpaw Ashmita Chaliha overcame a late fightback from her opponent to upset fifth seed Evgeniya Kosetskaya of Russia 24-22, 21-16. Ashmita had lost to world No. 28 Russian player in their earlier encounter back in 2019.

Assam youngster Ashmita began strong, employing her down-the-line smashes to open up a 11-5 lead in the opening game. The talented shuttler looked comfortable against the tall Russian. However, she began making a lot of errors after the break. Kosetsyaka pounced on the opportunity to first level the score at 14-14 and then fought back from 16-19 to earn her first game point.

But the Guwahati-girl managed to regroup in time to force the Russian to make an unforced error. She then saved two more game points before clinching the game with a smash.

The second game followed a similar trajectory as Ashmita opened up a 11-4 lead only for the Russian to close in to 19-16. However, the Indian was more in control this time around and kept her cool under pressure to finish off the match in 31 minutes.

“I haven’t played a lot of matches in the last few years. So, I was nervous and that affected me midway in the opening game. But once I won the first game, I was more confident and so I was relaxed in the second game,” she said after the match.

World No. 84 Ashmita will now face France’s Yaelle Hoyaux, who defeated India’s Riya Mookerjee 21-14, 21-13.

Kidambi Srikanth beats practice partner Siril Verma in first round

In men’s singles, top seed Kidambi Srikanth ousted Siril Verma 21-17, 21-10 in 34 minutes. Former junior world No. 1 Siril threatened to take the match to Srikanth by closing the gap at 9-9 following a slow start. But once the World Championships silver medalist stepped on the pedal and began controlling the rallies, the result was a forgone conclusion.

“First rounds are really tough and especially when you are playing a fellow Indian are much tougher,” said Srikanth while explaining the time needed to get going in the opening game.

Srikanth will now face Denmark’s Kim Brunn, who defeated India’s Subhankar Dey 21-19, 18-21, 21-14 in one hour and 15 minutes.

Newly-crowned world champion Loh Kean Yew struggles to win first round

World champion Loh Kean Yew was stretched to three games by the unheralded Canadian Xiaodong Sheng before winning 16-21, 21-4, 21-13.

The main attraction of opening day’s action was obviously Loh, who is playing his first tournament since clinching the world title. The fifth seed clearly struggled to find his rhythm in the opening game and was seen talking to himself during the initial exchanges to try and push himself.

He never looked in control in that game but suddenly changed gears in the second game and raced to a 10-0 lead before dropping the first point of the game. In the decider, Sheng managed to keep pace with the Singaporean until 6-6 before Loh bagged 10 of the next 12 points to take control of the match.

Loh will face Malayasia’s Joo Ven Soong in the second round on Thursday.

Sai Pratheek-Gayatri Gopichand starts with a win in mixed doubles in India Open

In the day’s other matches in the opening session, K Sai Pratheek and Gayatri Gopichand of India edged out compatriots Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Castro 21-16, 16-21, 21-17 in the mixed doubles.

Men’s doubles top seeds of the India Open Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan got their campaign off to a winning start by beating Prem Singh Chouhan and Rajesh Verma 21-18, 21-10.

Ritika Thaker and Simran Singhi post thrilling win

In the women’s doubles first round encounter, reigning junior national champions from India Ritika Thaker and Simran Singh rallied back to post a thrilling win. Ritika Thaker and Simran Singhi of Maharashtra fought back after losing the opening game to beat Mariia Stoliarenko and Yelyzaveta Zharka of Ukraine 14-21, 22-20, 21-19.

Nagpur's Ritika and Simran will play Deeksha Choudhary and Yashica Jakhar in the second round.

Indian Results (Round 1)

Men’s singles

1-Kidambi Srikanth bt Siril Verma 21-17, 21-10 (34 minutes)

6-Sameer Verma bt Sourabh Verma 21-7, 21-7 (15 minutes)

Kiran George lost to Brian Yang (Canada) 20-22, 15-21 (46 minutes)

Subhankar Dey lost to Kim Bruun (Denmark) 19-21, 21-18, 14-21 (75 minutes)

Chirag Sen lost to Soong Joo Ven (Malaysia) 8-21, 7-21 (28 minutes)

Kartikey Gulshan Kumar lost to Kalle Koljonen (Finland) 11-21, 15-21 (45 minutes)

Women’s singles

1-PV Sindhu bt Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli 21-5, 21-16 (27 minutes)

Ashmita Chaliha bt 5-Evgeniya Kosetskaya (Russia) 24-22, 21-16 (31 minutes)

Ira Sharma bt Doha Hany (Egypt) 21-10, 21-11 (23 minutes)

Anupama Upadhyaya bt Mugdha Agrey 21-11, 21-15 (41 minutes)

Rituparna Das lost to 6-Supanida Katethong (Thailand) 12-21, 7-21 (21 minutes)

Riya Mookerjee lost to Yaelle Hoyaux (France) 14-21, 13-21 (31 minutes)

Shruti Mundada lost to Polina Buhrova (Ukraine) 20-22, 15-21 (33 minutes)

Men’s doubles

6-MR Arjun-Dhruv Kapila bt Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub Azriyn-Lim Khim Wah (Malaysia) 18-21, 21-17, 21-15 (58 minutes)

Ishaan Bhatnagar-Sai Pratheek K bt Konstantin Abramov-Rodion Alimov (Russia) 21-19, 21-19 (38 minutes)

Prem Singh Chouhan-Rajesh Verma lost to 1-Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia) 18-21, 10-21 (24 minutes)

Bhaskar Chakraborty-Kapil Chaudhary bt Shashwat Dalal-Satinder Malik 21-17, 21-18 (35 minutes)

Utkarsh Arora-Akshan Shetty bt Siddharth Jakhar-Lakshay Saroha 21-13, 21-12 (23 minutes)

Vasantha Kumar HR-Ashith Surya bt Himanshu Mittal-Shubham Sharma 21-13, 21-16 (34 minutes)

Ravikrishna PS-Sankar Prasad Udayakuar lost to 3-Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (Malaysia) 19-21, 14-21 (35 minutes)

Women’s doubles

Simran Singhi-Ritika Thaker bt Mariia Stoliarenko-Yelyzaveta Zharka (Ukraine) 14-21, 22-20, 21-19 (64 minutes)

Tanishka Deshpande-Shruti Mundada bt Palak Arora-Unnati Hooda 17-21, 21-6, 21-19 (53 minutes)

Haritha MH-Ashna Roy bt Juhi Dewangan-Deepali Gupta 21-16, 21-14 (29 minutes)

Kavya Gupta-Khushi Gupta bt Navdha Manglam-Likhita Srivastava 21-13, 21-15 (33 minutes)

Rudrani Jaiswal-Jamaludeen Anees Kowsar bt Nikki Rapria-Nishu Rapria 18-21, 21-16, 21-15 (49 minutes)

Deeksha Choudhary-Yashica Jakhar bt Deethya Jagadish G-Sujith P Krishnapriya 21-19, 22-20 (34 minutes)

7-Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand Pullela bt Anastasiya Prozorova-Valeriya Rudakova (Ukraine) 21-12, 21-10 (23 minutes)

Tanisha Crasto-Rutaparna Panda lost to 4-Benyapa Aimsaard-Nuntakarn Aimsaard (Thailand) 19-21, 18-21 (44 minutes)

Mixed doubles

7-Dhruv Kapila-N Sikki Reddy bt Chirag Arora-Nishu Rapria 21-11, 21-11 (25 minutes)

Sai Pratheek K-Gayatri Gopichand Pullela bt Ishaan Bhatnagar-Tanisha Crasto 21-16, 16-21, 21-17 (52 minutes)

Sanjai Srivatsa Dhanraj-Pooja Dandu bt Ayush Agarwal-Shailja Shukla 21-17, 17-21, 21-16 (42 minutes)

8-Venkat Gaurav Prasad-Juhi Dewangan bt Aman Arora-Rageshri Garg 21-9, 21-8 (17 minutes)

MR Arjun-Treesa Jolly lost to 3-Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei (Malaysia) 11-21, 6-21 (22 minutes)

Pratik Ranade-Kanika Kanwal lost to 1-Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (Malaysia) 10-21, 11-21 (25 minutes).

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Edited by S Chowdhury