Korea Open: Ajay Jayaram, Sai Praneeth enter second round; other Indian shuttlers ousted
Seoul: Indian shuttlers Ajay Jayaram and B Sai Praneeth advanced to the men's singles second round
of the Korea Open in what turned out to be a mixed day for India at the USD 600,000 Super Series badminton tournament.
While Jayaram and Praneeth crossed the opening hurdle, Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap, H S Prannoy and Tanvi Lad fought equally hard in gruelling three-set games before bowing out of the tournament.
Jayaram, who turned 29 today, celebrated his birthday with a 23-21 21-18 win over Korea's Jeon Hyeok Jin in a 45-minute battle. The Mumbai shuttler, who had lost to Jin at the Malaysia Masters last year, will next face China's Huang Yuxiang.
Praneeth too edged out Chinese Taipei's Hsu Jen-hao 21-13 12-21 21-15 in another match that last over an hour. He will next take on Korea's Son Wan Ho, seeded sixth.
However, Rio Olympics quarter-finalist Srikanth, seeded 8th, suffered a narrow 10-21 24-22 17-21 defeat against Wong Wing Ki Vincent of Hong Kong, while Commonwealth Games champion Kashyap, who played three-game matches on Tuesday, dished out another superb fight before losing 22-20 10-21 13-21 to fourth seeded Chinese Tian Houwei, who had finished as runners-up at All England Championship.
Swiss Open champion Prannoy also tried his best but his efforts didn't fructify as he lost 23-21 17-21 15-21 to
Chinese Taipei's Wang Tzu Wei in the opening round.
The only competitor at women's singles, Tanvi Lad also showed the stomach to fight before going down 18-21 21-13 18-21 to Denmark's Anna Thea Madsen.
Nandu Natekar's matches through the 1950s at the CCI and Bombay Gymkhana had salivating spectators queuing up for tickets overnight, with several having to be turned away because there was just no more space in the playing hall.
The 88-year-old, who won over 100 national and international titles in his career, was suffering from age-related ailments
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