The Indian contingent made a brilliant start to their campaign as the first-day action concluded at the Hong Kong Open 2018 in Kowloon, Hong Kong on Tuesday. 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap upset the top seed and World No. 40 Hsu Jen Hao to book his berth in the main draw while the mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa advanced to the second round.
Kashyap fought for 1 hour 3 minutes to get the 21-7, 12-21, 21-18 win over Hao. This is his fifth victory over the Chinese Taipei shuttler in six meetings.
The 32-year-old has a tough task up next as he faces the seventh seed and World No. 7 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the first round.
Kashyap, currently placed at the 52nd spot, is steadily making his way back to the top echelons of the sport after suffering a back injury while playing at the Singapore Open in July.
In mixed doubles, the World Championships quarter-finalists Rankireddy and Ponnappa needed three games to outlast the World No. 16 Taipei pair of Wang Chi-Lin and Lee Chia Hsin 21-16, 19-21, 21-14 in 1 hour 3 minutes.
India’s top shuttlers will all be in action on Wednesday as the first round matches in singles begin. PV Sindhu has been a runner-up at this tournament for the last two years and will hope to reach the final for the third year in a row. Saina Nehwal makes her return to the circuit after skipping the China Open last week.
In men’s singles, there are four players from India, led by the World No. 9 Kidambi Srikanth.
With this being the final Super 500 event of the season, all the best shuttlers in the world have participated in this tournament as they search for some valuable points in their bid to qualify for the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals in December.