The Indian contingent had mixed fortunes as the Yonex-Sunrise Vietnam Open 2018 got under way at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Tuesday. Former India No. 1 men’s singles shuttler, Ajay Jayaram, who is the biggest name from the country at this Super 100 tournament, safely progressed into the second round.
Jayaram staved off a big challenge from the 142nd Le Duc Phat of Vietnam in the first game and then ran away with the second to post a 21-19, 21-12 win in 31 minutes. He will next take on Indonesian qualifier Gatjra Piliang Fiqihila Cupu for a place in the pre-quarter-finals.
The Mumbai shuttler, who is currently placed at the 71st position, is trying to claw his way back to the top echelons of the sport after falling down the rankings ladder due to a hamstring injury. He reached the final of the White Nights International last month.
Other than the former World No. 13, none of the other Indians, playing in the first round of men’s singles, was able to cross the first hurdle on Day 1 of this event. Abhishek Yelegar went down fighting 15-21, 21-10, 19-21 in 44 minutes to Georges Julien Paul of Mauritius.
Siddharth Pratap Singh too was shown the door after a 21-15, 12-21, 16-21 loss to Lu Chia Hung of Chinese Taipei.
Kartikey Gulshan Kumar was beaten 14-21, 14-21 by Sheshar Hiren Rustavito and Bodhit Joshi was outplayed 16-21, 15-21 by Adulrach Namkul.
Former World Junior Championships silver medallist Siril Verma and former Indian national champion Ritiparna Das won a couple of qualifying rounds to book their places in the main draw of the men’s and the women’s singles respectively.
Verma blasted his way past Thu Thao Nguyen 21-8, 21-8 and then followed it up with a 21-10, 22-20 win over Lin Chun-Yi.
Das emerged a 21-14, 21-12 winner over Aurum Oktavia Winata of Indonesia and then beat Liang Ting Yu 21-13, 21-17. Pardeshi Shreyanshi fought valiantly only to eventually go down 21-15, 10-21, 25-27 to the fourth seed Supanida Katethong of Thailand in the second round of qualifying.
In men’s doubles qualification, third seeds Krishna Prasad Garaga and Dhruv Kapila were beaten 18-21, 21-18, 12-21 by Calvin Kristanto and Giovani Dicky Oktavan of Indonesia.