Defending champion and top seed Parupalli Kashyap’s campaign in the Syed Modi International India Grand Prix Gold tournament came to an end when 12th-seeded Zulfadli Zulkiffli of Malaysia registered a 21-16, 21-12 victory against him in the pre-quarterfinals at the UP Badminton Academy on Thursday. In contrast, women’s singles top seed Saina Nehwal and second seed PV Sindhu breezed into the quarterfinals with ease.
The day proved unlucky for heavyweights in the men’s section as the top four seeds crashed out of the event on Thursday. 16th seed Shubhankar Dey outclassed second seed Ajay Jayaram 21-19, 21-17, 11th seed B Sai Praneeth beat third seed RMV Gurusaidutt 15-21, 21-9, 21-16 while Malaysia’s Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, seeded 13th, outclassed fourth seed Anand Pawar 22-20, 21-11.
In a keenly contested match, ninth seed Xue Song of China defeated eighth seed Sourabh Verma of India 21-13, 14-21, 21-17 after a 1 hour 4 minute-long fight. Sixth seed K Srikanth defeated Arvind Bhat, seeded 14th, 19-21, 23-21, 24-22 in another marathon battle which lasted for 1 hour 11 minutes.
An out of sorts Kashyap said he committed many unforced errors that proved costly for him. “ I made a lot of mistakes, otherwise things would not have been like this. I have playing well during practice sessions and in tournaments. Today I did not get into the rhythm,” he said. “I just want to congratulate my opponent now.”
Zulkiffli, whose World Ranking is 62, said: “ I am very happy to upset a player who is World No. 18 and was the top seed here. I just played my own game. In the last edition, I could only play in the first round (when he retired with the score at 16-21, 21-18, 16-11). I had no special plans today. I just kept my focus. This victory has bolstered my confidence and I would try my best for a medal.”
A light workout
In the women’s singles event, top seed Saina Nehwal took just 32 minutes to quell the challenge of Natalia Perminova of Russia 21-5, 21-10 to set up a quarterfinal clash with fifth seed Ballaetrix Manuputty of Indonesia.
Second seed PV Sindhu defeated Sabrina Jaquet of Switzerland 21-19, 21-5. She now faces seventh seed Hera Desi of Indonesia in the last eight stage match.
In a thrilling women’s doubles encounter, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa defeated Amelia Alicia Anscelly and Fie Cho Soong of Malaysia 21-19, 15-21, 21-19.
“ I have played with a positive approach in the women’s doubles match today. However, I feel that we need to be more consistent in our game,” Gutta said.
“It was a pretty good match. I am glad that it was a tough match. The more matches we get to play together as a pair, the better it is for us,” Ponnappa said.
The quarters start 2:00 pm on Friday.