Parupalli Kashyap failed to tame a young Chinese dragon in its own den when the former world junior champion Wang Zhengming of China got the better of the Indian shuttler with a 21-17, 21-7 win in the 34-minute men’s singles quarter-final of the China Open in Shanghai on Friday.
By all means, it was a listless performance from Kashyap which also meant his hopes of making it to the second Super Series semi-final this year were effectively dashed.
The 22-year-old Wang, ranked World No. 17, was too good for the Indian in almost every aspect of the game.
It was a disappointing display from World No. 23 Kashyap, a quarter-finalist in the 2012 London Olympics, against an opponent who got everything right in the match on Friday.
The 26-year-old Kashyap struggled right through the match and really could not rediscover his desired form.
In the first game, Kashyap seemed to be surprised by the speed and precision with which Wang reacted to his net game and also the way the Chinese shuttler was able to counter the big smashes from him.
After what started off as a close fight with lead changing hands in the first game, it was Wang who reeled off four quick points to surge ahead after the scores were tied 11-all at one stage. That was the phase when Wang revelled with his superior net game. The cross-court drops at the net repeatedly caught Kashyap off guard.
The beauty of the Chinese shuttler’s game was the way he set up himself for those precise returns and smashes by dictating terms, literally in the final stages of the game which also saw the Indian make a couple of crucial unforced errors.
In the second game, Wang was in no mood to relax, taking a convincing 12- 6 lead very quickly with a wonderful blend of net dribbles and cross-court returns. That Kashyap struggled even to his get his famed jump smashes in was perhaps an indication of how much he struggled to get this rythmn against Wang.
With his game going awry, Kashyap could not make the necessary corrections and unfortunately continued to make unforced errors even as the chief national coach Pullela Gopi Chand was watching in dismay. So much so that at 15-6,the sight of Kashyap hitting a simple forehand out without even making the opponent move was perhaps symbolic of his abject surrender.
Strangely, the Indian seemed to have given up the battle pretty quickly in the second game in contrast to the brilliant fight back from the brink of elimination in the previous round against seventh-seed Vietnamese Tien Minh Nguyen on Thursday.
With Kashyap’s defeat Indian challenge has ended in this edition.