2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist RMV Gurusaidutt won two rounds of qualifying to secure a berth in the main draw of the Swiss Open 2018 in Basel, Switzerland on Tuesday. The 27-year-old, who is currently ranked 229th, needed 30 minutes to dismiss the challenge of the 325th ranked Jan Frohlich of the Czech Republic, 21-11, 21-15 in the first round.
In the final round, he raced through his match to upset the 158th ranked Soren Toft 21-7, 21-7 in just 21 minutes.
Gurusaidutt has a tough challenge in the main draw first round of this BWF World Tour Super 300 tournament. He faces the third seed Ygor Coelho, who is ranked No. 32 in the world.
This is Gurusaidutt’s first tournament of the year. He made a comeback last year after a torrid time with an ankle injury that required surgery and consequently pushed him to the sidelines for nearly a year. The period of inactivity saw his ranking nosedive to below 900.
He won the Bulgarian International as a qualifier on his return and also made it to the final of the Welsh International, which propelled a ranking rise of over 700 spots.
Sameer and Sourabh Verma lead the Indian challenge
While India’s biggest shuttle stars are busy preparing for the upcoming All England Open scheduled to be held from March 14, the challenge at the Swiss Open will be led by the Verma brothers -- Sourabh and Sameer.
World No. 44 Sameer has received the second seeding and is slated to face the 74th ranked Thomas Rouxel of France in his opener. Sameer made a splash at the India Open, where he accounted for the seventh seed Anders Antonsen and former World No. 3 Tommy Sugiarto.
Verma, who lost a chunk of the 2017 season due to a shoulder injury, would aim to continue his good form and put up a spirited show at the Swiss Open.
Sameer’s elder brother, Sourabh has the World No. 57 Misha Zilberman in the first round. Abhishek Yelegar has a tough proposition as he has been drawn to meet the top seed Rajiv Ouseph in the first round.
In women’s singles, the Indian brigade is composed of rising stars. Anura Prabhudesai, Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli, Riya Mukherjee, Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka, and Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka are all in the main draw.
Iran International winners Francis Alwin and Kidambi Nandagopal will be in action in men’s doubles and so will be the pairs of Shlok Ramchandran-Arjun MR and Kapil Chaudhary-Brijesh Yadav.
There is no Indian participation in women’s doubles and mixed doubles.Published 21 Feb 2018, 14:24 IST