Defending champion B Sai Praneeth crashed out of the Singapore Open after suffering a narrow three-game defeat against Japan’s Yu Igarashi in the opening round of men’s singles competition in Singapore on Wednesday.
Sixth seed Praneeth, who has been out of form of late, went down 21-16 16-21 18-21 to Igarashi in a match that lasted an hour and 11 minutes.
Meanwhile, Sourabh Verma, Subhankar Dey, Ruthvika Shivani Gadde and former national champion Rituparna Das advanced to the second round after notching up contrasting wins in the opening round.
While Subhankar saw off Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue 14-21 21-14 21-16, Ruthvika prevailed over Bulgaria’s Linda Zetchiri 21-15 17-21 21-16 and Rituparna emerged victories with Switzerland’s Sabrina Jaquet retiring after trailing 3-5 in the opening game.
Former CWG champion Parupalli Kashyap suffered a back strain in the training session yesterday but the Indian had to take the court against compatriot Sourabh since according to BWF rules a player can’t retire or give walkover against a fellow countrymen.
Playing the last match of the evening, Kashyap went down 9-21 6-21 to Sourabh, who has recently being included in the Asian Games squad.
India’s best mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy beat Germany’s Jones Ralfy Jansen and Carla Nelte 21-19 16-21 21-12 to enter the second round.
Also through to the next round was the second seeded men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who defeated local hopes Rizky Hidayat and Loh Kean Hean 21-16 24-22.
However, it was curtains for former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist RMV Gurusaidutt and young Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka.
Gurusaidutt’s fight ended after he went down 14-21 19-21 to China’s Qiao Bin, while Vaishnavi lost 19-21 7-21 to Japan’s Minatsu Mitani.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also bowed out after their gallant fight ended in a 21-18 13-21 14-21 loss to NG Tsz Yau and Yuen Sin Ying of Hong Kong.
Among others, Mugdha Agrey lost 12-21 16-21 to China’s Gao Fingjie, while second seeded Thai Nitchaon Jindapol ended Vaidehi Choudhari’s campaign with a 21-10 21-6 win.
Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka also ran out of steam after winning the first game as she lost 23-21 4-21 6-21 to Spain’s Beatriz Corrales.
Seventh seeds Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok also went down narrowly 21-19 17-21 19-21 to English combo of Ben Lane and Sean Vendy, while Arun George and Sanyam Shukla lost 21-16 17-21 20-22 to Chinese Taipei pair of Po Li-Wei and Yang Ming-Tse.
Mandiraju Anilkumar Raju and Venkat Gaurav Prasad also failed to cross the opening hurdle.