The opening day of the individual events in the National badminton championship usually provides a good opportunity for the lesser-players to hog the spotlight. Seniors are always wary of the unseen potential of these little-known aspirants and some even succumb to the devil-may-care attitude of this restless teen-brigade.

On this day, Shriyanshi Pardeshi, ranked third among the under-17 girls in the country, emerged from the heap with a standout performance. A qualifier in the draw of 128, the girl from Madhya Pradesh showed glimpses of her potential when she stunned former champion and eighth seed Trupti Murgunde in the women’s second round. On a day most seeded players advanced to the third round, Shriyanshi needed 32 minutes to stop an inconsistent Trupti 21-17, 21-18.

The youngster bounced back from deficits of 4-7 in the first game and 4-8 in the second to prove stronger. If Shriyanshi dominated the net in the first game, winning 10 out of 12 points, she attacked relentlessly in the second game to finish the rallies. Her aggressive intent produced 12 winners and left Trupti exasperated.

It was clear that Trupti was waiting for the tide to turn without really making serious efforts to stop her upbeat rival. Shriyanshi now faces Pondicherry’s M. Aruna for a place in the pre-quarterfinals, possibly against Rituparna Das, the reigning National junior champion.

Seeds advance

All other seeds, second-ranked led by P.V. Sindhu, advanced as expected. One of the intriguing clashes of the third round features third seed Arundhati Pantawane and Aditi Mutatkar. The duo played the final that Aditi won in January 2011 at Rohtak.

In the men’s section, top seed and defending champion P. Kashyap made a cautious start to his title-defence. Nursing a shoulder injury, Kashyap dropped just 11 points in two games to Goa’s Tejan Fallary for a place in the third round.

“I am one week or 10 days short of being 100 per cent. I have tried my best (to recover in time). The physio says I need to continue with the rehabilitation. I had three days of rehab and thought if I got another two days it would be nice, so I missed the team event,” said Kashyap.

In the midst of one-sided matches, the one between Karnataka’s champion Prakash Jolly and Haryana’s Neeraj Vashisth provided some thrilling moments. Jolly won 18-21, 21-19, 21-15 in 42 minutes. A product of the Prakash Padukone Academy, Jolly controlled the proceedings well after losing the first game. But Vashisht won six points to lead 16-15 and raised visions of a straight-game triumph. The players were level at 17 and 19 before Jolly forced the decider by clinching the last two points. In the third game, Jolly led comfortably and prevailed in style.

Important results (prefix denotes seeding): Men (second round): 1-P. Kashyap bt Tejan Fallary 21-4, 21-7; 3-Ajay Jayaram bt N.N. Vinayak 21-8, 21-13; 4-Anand Pawar bt Gaurav Parmar 21-10, 21-13; 5-K. Srikanth bt Aamir Sumara 21-6, 21-5; 6-B. Sai Praneeth bt Sanjai Srivatsa 21-11 21-15; 7-H.S. Prannoy bt Yogesh Chauhan 21-11, 21-7 8-Saurabh Verma bt Shubham Kumar 21-4, 21-1. 2-R. M. V Gurusaidutt bt Sunny Sawant 21-4, 21-7.

Women (second round): 2-P.V. Sindhu bt Jaisy Bridgette 21-3, 21-5; 3-Arundhati Pantawane bt Nidhi Tiwari 21-11, 21-17; Aditi Mutatkar bt J.K. Malvika 21-5, 21-19; 4-Tanvi Lad bt Moumita Talukdar 21-7, 21-4; 5-P.C. Thulasi bt Sanskriti Chhabra 21-13, 21-7; 6-Saili Rane bt Tripti Lavania 21-15, 21-9; 7-Sayali Gokhale bt Sulakhani Kaur 21-6, 21-5, Shriyanshi Pardeshi bt 8-Trupti Murgunde 21-17, 21-18.

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