Hyderabad: Indian shuttlers at the World Badminton Championships finally enjoyed decent results Wednesday — a day that provided a treat for the eyes.
Saina Nehwal, arguably Indias best bet at the Championships, sailed through her second round match, taking 27 minutes to beat her Russian opponent, Anastasia Prokopenko 21-17, 21-10 at the Gachibowli Stadium.
Chetan Anand, Indias prayer in the mens singles draw, easily overcame Bulgarian opponent Stilian Makarski 21-9, 21-17 in 28 minutes.
Playing her first match after a mild bout of chicken pox, Saina won the first game with consummate ease. She attacked and smashed powerfully, to leave her Russian opponent stranded.
However, in the second game, she changed her strategy as she kept more rallies in play. A couple of unforced errors on the Indians part, allowed Anastasia to break and come back into the game. However, the sixth seed fought back with great intensity and drew level at 14-14. From then on, Saina pushed her opponent onto the back foot and finally secured her win with a brilliant smash.
For Chetan, it was as if the first game got over before it began, but in the second he allowed Makarski to smash more, which enabled the Bulgarian to gain a foothold. But at the end, Chetan slowed his rhythm and ensured victory. He takes on sixth seed Sony Dwi Kuncoro next against whom his record stands at 1-1.
It was however the end of the road for the 22-year-old Parupalli Kashyap who gave second seed Jin Chen a scare before succumbing to a high number of unforced errors and losing a match that lasted almost an hour, 21-14, 10-21, 7-21.
Kashyap, fresh from his victory Tuesday, made a brilliant start but couldnt maintain the winning momentum. In the second and third games his concentration level went down due to unforced errors.
I fully believe that Im a top-10 player. I need to improve my fitness… only then can I outdo the Chinese players who have attained world standard because of their high levels of fitness, the world No.33 said.
The last time at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, I lost because of fitness and the same thing happened today. If I work on it, I am sure in a years time my ranking will improve, added Kashyap.
The unseeded Indian duo of Jishnu Sanyal and Akshay Dewalkar bowed out of the event, losing to 16th seed Russians Vitalij Durkin and Alexandr Nikolaenko 21-17, 13-21, 18-21 in the second round of mens doubles.
Another Indian pair to bow out was the newly-formed team of Aparna Balan and Shruti Kurian who lost to the second seed Chinese duo of Shu Cheng and Yunlei Zhao, 16-21, 16-21.
The mens top seed, Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and his counterpart in the womens draw, Chinas Mi Zhou, got past their opponents with ease.
Lin Dan, who is gunning for a third straight World Championship title, made short work of Thai Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, winning 21-16, 21-12.
Taufik Hidayat, the fourth seed, blew off French challenger Mathieu Lo Ying Ping 21-17, 21-15 while veteran Peter Gade got the better of Japanese Sho Sasaki 21-11, 21-12.
The other seeds to make it to the pre-quarters were 12th seed Choong Hang Wong of Malaysia, Chinese Taipeis ninth seed Yu Hsing Hsieh and 13th seed Simon Santoso of Indonesia.
On the womens side, fifth seed Xingfang Xie of China, who is aiming for her third World Championship title, advanced after her opponent retired.
How the indians fared
DAY III: Saina Nehwal bt Anastasia Prokopenko (Rus) 21-17, 21-10; Chetan Anand bt Stilian Makarski (Bul) 21-9, 21-17; P. Kashyap lost to Jin Chen (Chn) 21-14, 10-21, 7-21; Jishnu Sanyal/Akshay Dewalkar lost to Vitalij Durkin/Alexandr Nikolaenko (Rus) 21-17, 13-21, 18-21; Aparna Balan/Shruti Kurian lost to Shu Cheng/Yunlei Zhao (Chn) 16-21, 16-21