New Zealand Open: Parupalli Kashyap to meet Sourabh Verma in pre-quarterfinals
15th seed Parupalli Kashyap set up a blockbuster all-Indian pre-quarter-final clash with the seventh seeded Sourabh Verma as the top Indian stars had a great day at the $120,000 SkyCity New Zealand Open 2017 in Auckland on Wednesday. Fourth seed HS Prannoy and 16th seed Siril Verma too joined them in the third round of this Grand Prix Gold tournament.
Kashyap thus continued his remarkable comeback from a shoulder injury that he suffered at the beginning of the year. The Commonwealth Games champion needed just 25 minutes to easily dismiss the challenge of the local hope Oscar Guo, 21-9, 21-8.
The 30-year-old has broken back into the top 50 following his runner-up finish at the US Open Grand Prix Gold where he lost to Prannoy in three games in the final.
First meeting between Kashyap and Sourabh
Incidentally, this will be his first international meeting with the 37th ranked Sourabh Verma, who is currently placed 10 spots above him in the BWF World Rankings. Verma too was equally impressive and pummelled Indonesia’s Henrikho Kho Wibowo, 21-16, 21-16.
Verma will be aiming to reach his first quarter-final since the Syed Modi International in January.
Prannoy continues winning streak
US Open winner HS Prannoy extended his winning streak to eight matches by entering the third round. The fourth seed faced some stiff resistance from the 19-year-old Indonesian Firman Abdul Kholik but still managed to see him off in straight games for a 23-21, 21-18 win.
The Kerala shuttler will face the 10th seeded Wei Nan of Vietnam next.
17-year-old Siril Verma, meanwhile, prevailed 21-14, 21-16 over Indonesia’s World No. 287 Saputra Vicky Angga. He now has a third round showdown with the World No. 122 Chia Hung Lu, who upset the second seed Ajay Jayaram in the first round.
Sahil Sipani, Pratul Joshi and Neeraj Vashist fell by the wayside. Sipani was beaten 9-21, 8-21 by the 11th seeded Lin Yu Hsien while Vashist was a 16-21, 13-21 casualty at the hands of Australia’s Anthony Joe.
Joshi fought hard only to lose 13-21, 22-24 to the top seed Tzu Wei Wang.
Doubles teams bite the dust
The Indian doubles teams could not fare well and all of them crashed out in the first round. In mixed doubles, Prajakta Sawant and Yogendran Krishnan were stunned 13-21, 13-21 by the Chinese combine of Fan Qiuyue and Xuanxuan Liu.
The women’s doubles team of Sanyogita Ghorpade and Prajakta Sawant were beaten 15-21, 18-21 by the fourth seeds Ayako Sakuramoto and Yukiko Takahata.
In men’s doubles, Sahil Sipani and Jagadish Yadav too suffered the same fate and crashed out following a 12-21, 16-21 defeat to Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub and Zi Heng Ooi of Malaysia.