India's P. Kashyap, seeded third, defeated compatriot Srujan Nandaluri 21-15, 21-9 to enter the men's quarterfinals of the Yonex Sunrise-India Open Grand Prix gold badminton championships at the Nehru Indoor Stadium, here on Thursday. But can he really take on the likes of Chetan Anand, Arvind Bhat and Malaysia's Muhammad Hafiz Hashim?
Against Nandaluri, Kashyap moved exceptionally well around the court taking the ‘bird' early and seldom giving his opponent the opportunity or space to free his arms. There were many eye-catching shots — the forehand drops, the backhand flips, the half-smashes, but what took the cake was his jumping smashes.
Kashyap smashes into the corners of the court or into the body of the opponent and Nandaluri literally had no chance whenever Kashyap went for the ‘kill'.
Nandaluri played a close first game but in the second, he was no match for Kashyap as the third seed raced to a 12-7 lead in the second and closed out the match in less than 30 minutes. He will next take on Anand Pawar.
Kashyap rose up the rankings after hallowing in the 100s with a string of good performances in International tournaments last year. His self-belief grew manifold when he stretched the World No.5 Taufiq Hidayat to three games in the Thomas Cup finals in May this year.
“Anything less than a victory will be disappointing,” said Kashyap, World ranked 40. “I have been training hard and playing well in tournaments.”
Sayali Gokhale, seeded sixth, reached the women's quarterfinals with an authoritative 21-15, 21-12 win over Gayatri Vatrak. P.C. Thulasi, who scalped the fourth seed Maja Tvrdy the other day, lost to Renuga Veeran of Australia 21-16, 21-18.
Ajay Jayaram, seeded eighth, went down fighting to Seang Tan Chun of Malaysia 16-21, 21-16, 21-18 in the men's pre-quarterfinals. In the last eight clash on Friday, Chun will take on the top seed Chetan Anand, who survived a scare against Saurabh Verma 13-21, 21-17, 21-15.
Saurabh took Chetan by surprise in the first game beating him all ends up with clever variations.
Slowly and steadily, Chetan recovered getting used to the conditions and the drift. In the decider, Chetan committed four service errors but made up for his consistent play.
The top seeded mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V. Diju didn't waste much time in defeating Ninan Merin Megha and Vijay C Ram duo 21-8, 21-9.
The results (Indians unless otherwise mentioned, all pre-quarterfinals):
Men's singles: 6-Anand Pawar bt Aditya Elango 21-11, 21-10; 3-P. Kashyap bt Srujan Nandaluri 21-15, 21-9; Yunus Alamsyah (Ina) bt M.R. Manikandan 21-12, 21-12; 4-Arvind Bhat bt Abhimanyu Singh 21-10, 21-10; Seang Tan Chun (Mas) bt 8-Ajay Jayaram 16-21, 21-16, 21-18; 1-Chetan Anand bt Saurabh Verma 13-21, 21-17, 21-15; 7-Guru Sai Dutt bt Pratik Patel 21-5, 21-3; 2-Muhammad Hashim Hafiz (Mas) bt K. Tanishak 21-5, 21-9.
Women's singles: Weni Fanetri Linda (Ina) bt Prutsch Simone (Aut) 17-21, 23-21, 21-11.; 6-Sayali Gokhale bt Gayatri Vatrak 21-15, 21-12; Renuga Veeran bt P.C. Thulasi 21-16, 21-18; Yaswandari Aprilia (Ina) bt P.V Sindhu 21-16, 21-17; Juan Gu (Sin) bt Mohita Sehdev 21-9, 21-8; 8-Chen Jiayuan (Sin) bt Chandrika D'Silva 21-14, 21-12; 2-Choo Wong Mew (Mas) bt Sanyogita Ghorpade 21-14, 21-10.
Mixed doubles: Jwala Gutta/V. Diju bt Ninan Merin Megha/Vijay C Ram 21-8, 21-9; Yan Vanessa Neo Yu/K. Hendri (Sin) bt Radhika Singh/Prem Singh 21-8, 21-8; Susanto Debby/Rijal Muhammad (Ina) bt Sawant Prajakta/Pranav Chopra 19-21, 21-8, 21-16; Ashwini Ponnappa/Kona Tarun bt Jyotsana Polavarapu/Jishnu Sanyal 18-21, 21-12, 21-19; Yao Lei/Chayut Triyachart (Sin) bt Puspita Dili Richi/R. Mochamad (Ina) 17-21, 21-19, 21-17; Aparna Balan/Arun Vishnu bt Meenakshi Nair/K.S. Hersen 21-13, 21-14; Gozali Jenna/Riky Widianto (Ina) bt Juhi Dewangan/Venkat Gaurav 21-12, 21-14; Renuga Veeran/Raj Veeran (Aus) w/o Mohita Sehdev/Tanveer Gill.