India’s RMV Gurusaidutt put a spirited show against Malaysia’s world number one Lee Chong Wei before bowing out 10-21, 21-18, 15-21 in the third round of Yonex Australia Badminton Open Grand Prix Gold Championship, being played at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre (SCEC) on Thursday.
Gurusaidutt however, was slow off the blocks in the opening game as Lee looked in menacing form.
Lee dished a robust net play, pulling off as many as nine winners. He was equally clinical in his smashes, coming up with 6 winners.
The Indian did not have the answers to the potent smashes and strong net play of Lee. At one stage, the top seed won seven consecutive points to march ahead before going on to bag the first game at 21-10.
Gurusaidutt needed to summon desperate measures to stay in the tournament. And he did – fighting tooth and nail against the Malaysian with both tied at 13-13.
The Indian kept pulling ahead but Lee clawed back to restore parity at 15-15.
The match was tantalizingly poised but Gurusaidutt showed nerves of steel and won three crucial points on the trot to gain a 18-15 lead. Lee found it hard to keep pace with the Indian but still reduced the gap to 17-19.
The world number 36 ranked picked up a crucial point to be at match point 20-17. Lee collected one more point to make it 18-20 but Gurusaidutt wrapped it up at 21-18 to force a decider.
Lee tightened his loose ends in the third game. He got his smashes going as the Indian was not allowed to play to his strengths. Gurusaidutt was not able to find the winners, something he consistently came up with in the second game.
The Malaysian bagged five points on the trot to have the head-start in the decider. The extra spring in his stride – something so pronounced in the second game – tapered off as Lee cantered home winning it at 21-15 in a contest that lasted 56 minutes.
Gurusaidutt’s defeat thus ends India’s campaign in the Yonex Australian Open.
Earlier, world number 48 Anand Pawar battled hard before going down to fourth seed Wei Feng Chong of Malaysia.
Anand waged a brave battle against Chong in the opening set, matching him in every department of the game. But Chong stayed focused to win the big points to have the first game in his bag at 21-19.
The sting went out of Anand’s game in the second game as Chong held sway of the proceedings to win it at 21-15.