New Zealand Open: HS Prannoy, Parupalli Kashyap advance; Ajay Jayaram exits
US Open heroes HS Prannoy and Parupalli Kashyap advanced to the second round of the $120,000 SkyCity New Zealand Open 2017 even as the second seed Ajay Jayaram made a disappointing exit from the Grand Prix Gold tournament held in Auckland on Tuesday. The fourth seed and US Open champion Prannoy won his seventh match on the trot when he prevailed over Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito, 21-14, 21-16.
US Open runner-up Kashyap was equally impressive. The 15th seed needed just 22 minutes to pummel Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka, 21-5, 21-10.
Jayaram’s defeat a big concern
But the campaign ended prematurely for the second seeded Jayaram. Playing his first match more than a month after the Australian Open Superseries, the World No. 16 succumbed to a 19-21, 13-21 defeat to the 122nd ranked Chia Hung Lu of Chinese Taipei.
With less than three weeks to go until the prestigious World Championships, Jayaram’s poor form is indeed a cause for concern.
There were other Indian winners too on Day 1 of the event. Seventh seeded Sourabh Verma too returned to action more than a month after last playing at the Chinese Taipei Open. The elder of the two Verma brothers beat Australia’s Nathan Tang comfortably, 21-17, 21-15.
16th seeded Siril Verma also made it to the second round with a hassle-free 21-13, 21-12 win over Riyanto Subagja.
Among the others, Pratul Joshi emerged a 21-10, 21-13 winner over Daxxon Vong, Sahil Sipani carved out a 21-10, 21-10 victory over Joshua Feng.
World No. 364 Neeraj Vashist did not face much resistance in his first round match and easily beat Indonesia’s Androw Yunanto, 21-8, 21-9.
Sachin Rawat fell by the wayside after a 12-21, 8-21 loss to Malaysia’s Giap Chin Goh and so did Siddharth Thakur, who slumped to a 21-23, 14-21 defeat to Hong Kong shuttler Lee Cheuk Yiu.
Arun Kumar Ashok Kumar too had to bite the dust. The World No. 187 fell 16-21, 12-21 to Saputra Vicky Angga, who is ranked 100 places below the Indian.
India’s sole entrant in women’s singles - Sanyogita Ghorpade - lost in the final round of qualifying. Ghorpade was left to rue her missed chances and went down narrowly, 11-21, 24-22, 19-21 to Australia’s Xie Yongshi.