Joshna Chinappa ended up being the lone winner for India on the opening day of the Hong Kong Open, a PSA world tour major event here. In the top half, Chinappa was the first to take the court and the Indian faced a tough fight against qualifier Hollie Naughton of Canada, who stretched the match to five games.
The 51-minute tussle finally ended in favour of the Indian at 11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6. The 11th seeded Indian meets Egyptian and seventh seed Nouran Gohar. However, Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal failed to cross the first round. Fresh from his success in the CCI International in Mumbai, Ghosal initial struggle seemed an aberration but his opponent, qualifier James Declan of England looked in good touch.
Declan had beaten Ghosal once before and the same confidence saw him carve out an inspiring 11-9, 11-6, 11-9 win. Pallikal was unlucky to have faced a tough Egyptian, Nour El Tayeb. The 13th seeded Egyptian took just 17 minutes to reel out a 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 win.
Earlier, Harinder Pal Sandhu attracted attention with his two impressive shows in the qualifying phase against higher ranked Karim Ali Fathi and Youssef Soliman, both from Eqypt.
However in the main draw, he went down in the first round itself to Paul Coll of New Zealand. The Indian grabbed the first game but thereafter could not sustain the tempo. Coll won 9-11, 11-3, 11-5 11-1.
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