New Delhi: Luck finally deserted Parupalli Kashyap in the India Open Super Series on Saturday. Having booked an Olympic berth, courtesy a walkover in the quarter finals, the Hyderabad boy failed in his quest to reach the final.
He went down to South Korean Wan Ho Shon 14-21, 21-19, 16-21 in 71 minutes, in front of a vociferous Siri Fort Sports Complex crowd.
Kashyap put up a determined fight but it was not enough to topple the Korean. The unseeded Korean, who beat second-seeded Peter Gade in the previous round, made fewer mistakes in the decider and that clinched the issue.
“I made too many mistakes in the final game, especially on smashes,” admitted Kashyap. “I was doing well with my rallies but my smashes were wayward. My coach kept telling me to keep them in but it didn’t happen,” said the 25-year-old student from Gopichand’s academy.
Hopes of a Kashyap victory were raised after the Indian played aggressively in the second game. From 12-all, Kashyap played a sea-saw battle to pip the Korean when he ran away with three consecutive points.
Things, however, did not go well for Kashyap in the third game. He was able to keep up with the Korean till 10-all, but was left behind thereafter. Shon also came up with some fine winners at this stage to consolidate the lead.
In the title clash on Sunday, Wan Ho Shon, who scored an identical three-game win over Kashyap in France a few months ago, will meet Malaysian world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, who crushed Chinese Taipei’s Jen Hao Hsu 21-13, 21-17 in only 33 minutes.
“It was an easy match,” said the defending champion. “I have come back from an injury and happy to have reached the final. The India Open proved to be a good tournament for me as I defeated Taufik Hidayat in the earlier round.”
The women singles semi-finals were bit of a dampener as the much-awaited clash between second seed Li Xuernui and fourth-seeded Jiang Yanjiao never took place after the latter decided to pull out citing an ankle injury.
This was the second Chinese pullout in as many days. On Friday, Chen Jin complained of a wrist injury and did not report for the match against Kashyap.
While Li Xuernui made the final without breaking a sweat, sixth seed German Juliane Schenk continued her good run defeating China’s Xiao Jia Chen 21-16, 21-13 in the other semi-final.
“I have beaten two Chinese in two rounds, I feel great,” Juliane commented after the match. “The Chinese players always have special skills, they are always focussed. Winning against them always adds to the confidence. I played aggressively from the start... it helped me to win,” she added.