Malaysia Masters 2019: Parupalli Kashyap qualifies for main draw
2014 Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap began the new season on a positive note by qualifying for the Perodua Malaysia Masters 2019 -- the first Super 500 tournament of the year to be held in Kuala Lumpur till January 20.
Kashyap started with a commanding 21-14, 21-9 win over World No. 83 Lucas Claerbout of France. He then followed it up with a 21-12, 21-17 victory over the 60th ranked Vladimir Malkov of Russia.
Kashyap has a tough task in the first round as he meets the World No. 20 Rasmus Gemke of Denmark.
The 32-year-old was the only Indian to make it through to the main draw on Day 1 of this tournament. SaarLorLux Open champion Subhankar Dey tumbled out to former World No. 9 Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 18-21, 13-21 in 35 minutes.
In women’s singles, both Mugdha Agrey and Rituparna Das lost. Agrey gave her all only to come up short in the very end in a 17-21, 21-18, 19-21 defeat to World No. 56 Sabrina Jaquet.
The former Indian national champion Das, meanwhile, showed her grit and resolve in a nail-biting second game but eventually fell 13-21, 24-26 to the Indonesian second seed Ruselli Hartawan.
Only the mixed doubles main draw action got under way on Tuesday. India’s Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra are the only Indian team in this section and they get their campaign going on Day 2.
In singles, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth will spearhead the challenge and hope to start the season well.
Srikanth was responsible for guiding the Bengaluru Raptors to their maiden title at the Premier Badminton League Season 4 last week, where he remained unbeaten. He would like to show that same kind of confidence when he locks horns with former Hong Kong Open winner NG Ka Long Angus.
PV Sindhu, however, has opted for rest this week and will be back next week at the Indonesia Masters.