China Masters 2017: Parupalli Kashyap makes a winning comeback
Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap made a winning comeback at the $150, 000 China Masters 2017 as he entered the second round of the Grand Prix Gold tournament at Changzhou, Jiangsu, China on Wednesday. Kashyap, who was out of action for three months due to a shoulder injury, beat World No. 59 Suppanyu Avihingsanon of Thailand, 21-16, 21-17 in 45 minutes.
The Thai kept the first game competitive till 15-15 after which the Indian broke away to seal it. In the second game, it was Avihingsanon who was ahead 14-12 before Kashyap won six points on the trot to lead 18-14. The former briefly fought back and made it 17-18 but then Kashyap raced away to the finish line.
He will next take on the third seed and World No. 23 Qiao Bin of China for a place in the quarter-finals.
The former World No. 6 suffered a shoulder dislocation while trying to retrieve a shot from Mumbai Rockets’ HS Prannoy during the Premier Badminton League final in January. The 30-year-old did go on to complete that match which ended in a three-game win for Prannoy, although Kashyap’s team, the Chennai Smashers went on to clinch the title.
It subsequently robbed him of three months and was the latest to strike him in a stressful 15-month stretch in which Kashyap had as many as four injuries.
As a result, his ranking took a nosedive and he is now placed at 104th.
Harsheel Dani too enters second round
Harsheel Dani was the other Indian who won on Wednesday. The World No. 102 beat local hope Runze Yan 21-16, 22-20 to set up a second-round meeting with Chinese teenager Sun Feixiang.
Dani had an equally comfortable first round and emerged a 21-17, 21-18 winner over Chinese Taipei’s Chun-Wei Chen.
There was no such luck in women’s singles as both the Indian youngsters bowed out. Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka fought bravely only to go down 4-21, 21-13, 12-21 to Chinese World No. 191 Li Wenmei. Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli also lost 18-21, 11-21 to Li Yun.
The top stars from India have skipped this event in order to prepare for the Badminton Asia Championships that is scheduled from April 25-30 in Wuhan, China.