The Indian contingent had mixed fortunes at the $65,000 Russian Open Grand Prix 2017 in Vladivostok, Russia on Wednesday with fourth seed Subhankar Dey and eighth seed Anand Pawar making it to the pre-quarter-finals. However, last year’s runner-up Siril Verma crashed out.
Dey came back from a game down to oust French shuttler Thomas Rouxel 6-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-4 in 40 minutes and book his place in the third round. He will next meet compatriot Rahul Yadav Chittaboina in an all-Indian clash for a place in the quarter-finals.
The latter had two easy wins in his first couple of rounds. In the opener, he beat Japan’s Koji Naito, 11-5, 11-8, 11-5 and followed it up with an 11-2, 11-1, 11-4 victory over Russia’s Artem Serpionov.
Anand Pawar, who won the Dutch International in April, beat English player Heng Lin Ngan with consummate ease. The eighth seed needed just 26 minutes to notch up the 11-4, 11-6, 11-7 win.
He next faces Malaysia’s Lim Chi Wing for a place in the last-eight.
2016 runner-up Siril Verma exits
Siril Verma had a grand run at this tournament last year but failed to repeat his heroics this time, falling 7-11, 11-5, 5-11, 7-11 to Japan’s Ryotaro Maruo in the second round. In the first round, he did manage to beat local player Andrey Parakhodin, 14-12, 11-4, 11-3.
Joining him on the sidelines are Siddharth Thakur, Aditya Joshi and Shreyansh Jaiswal.
Sourabh Verma was the top seed at this tournament but he had withdrawn.
Vrushali Gummadi upsets eighth seed
In women’s singles, rising star Vrushali Gummadi stunned the eighth seed Ksenia Evgenova, 11-7, 11-2, 11-5 to set up a second round meeting with Anastasiia Sharapova.
Other Indians who reached Round 2 are the sixth seed Rasika Raje, Anura Prabhudesai and Shikha Gautam.
In men’s doubles, the solitary Indian pair - Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran - are seeded fourth and have received a first round bye. They will open their campaign against Russia’s Rodion Alimov and Pavel Kotsarenko.
In mixed doubles, Saurabh Sharma and Anoushka Parikh defeated the Russian combine of Alexander Butovetstkiy and Anastasia Nazarchuk, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 to enter the pre-quarter-finals.