India’s top mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy had to battle hard to enter the second round of the Yonex German Open 2018 held at the Innogy Sporthalle in Mulheim-An-Der-Rhur, Germany on Wednesday. Chopra and Reddy needed 58 minutes to prevail over the 142nd ranked Chinese Taipei qualifiers Chang Ko-Chi and Cheng Chi Ya 24-22, 17-21, 21-19 in the first round of this BWF World Tour Super 300 tournament.
The former Syed Modi International champions will next take on the Thai duo of Tinn Isriyanet and Pacharapun Chochuwong, who stunned the seventh seeds Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Chau Hoi Wah in the opener.
Chopra and Reddy have been in good form since the start of the 2018 season and have come to this tournament on the back of a semi-final appearance at the India Open.
National Championships bronze medallist Subhankar Dey is the sole Indian representative in singles. The World No. 67 progressed into Round 2 when the 16th ranked Wong Wing Ki Vincent retired, trailing 12-21, 11-19. Dey has a tough task up next as he faces the fourth seed Chou Tien Chen.
India suffered twin defeats in men’s doubles as none of the other shuttlers could win their opening rounds. National champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy lost 16-21, 16-21 to Denmark’s Kasper Antonsen and Niclas Nohr.
Qualifiers Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran too bowed out with a 13-21, 18-21 loss to the top seeds Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda of Japan.
With most of the Indian big guns gearing up for next week’s All England Open, the tournament has seen only a handful of shuttlers from the country participating. Singapore Open Superseries winner B Sai Praneeth and the India No. 1 men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were in the entry list, but they too pulled out ahead of the first day.
The German Open is in the spotlight for it is the first tournament where BWF’s new service rule has been implemented. From March 2018, the point of contact at the start of a serve cannot exceed a height of 1.15m from the surface of the court instead of the earlier rule that required the shuttle to be below the last rib of the server.
It is an attempt made by the BWF to eradicate errors by the service judges although it has met with a lot of criticism from the players. The German Open is thus providing most of the shuttlers an opportunity to test the waters and get used to the new service rule before the mega Birmingham tournament next week.Published 08 Mar 2018, 00:53 IST