New Delhi: On a day when the young aspirants battled hard at the Siri Fort Sports Complex courts to clinch berths in the main rounds of the $250,000 India Open Super Series, K Ajay Kumar caused the biggest upset by sending Arvind Bhat crashing out of the meet.
A winner of the German Grand Prix Gold, Bhat was favourite to prevail but Ajay Kumar fought it out in the middle to win 22-20, 23-21. Ajay will now meet world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.
“I didn’t have anything to lose. I gave it my all. My next round opponent is Lee Chong Wei. The world knows what a good player he is. I am looking forward to the match with an open mind,” said, Ajay ranked 301 in the IBF list.
Earlier, former national champion Anup Sridhar beat Chetan Anand to move into the main draw. Sridhar dished out a dominant performance to beat Anand 21-14, 21-16 in the second round of qualifiers.
In the first round, Sridhar got a walkover after Indonesia’s Wisnu Yuli Prasetyo pulled out.
Also to reach the main draw was Shreyansh Jaiswal, who came from behind to beat Shubhakar Dey 21-19, 14-21, 21-8.
In the women’s qualifiers, India’s Sayali Gokhale, Mudra Dahinje and Shruti Mundada made it to the main draw.
The other Indians will begin their campaign on Wednesday, including eighth seed Saina Nehwal, who will play Austria’s Simone Prutsch and PV Sindhu. The teenager will take on second seed Shixian Wang of China.