Parupalli Kashyap was the star of the show last week at the Indonesian Open Superseries Premier as he toppled the World No. 1 Chen Long to make it to the semis. The stupendous show helped the Indian star to break back into the top 10 in the latest BWF Rankings.
Here’s presenting our weekly recap of Indian badminton.
Parupalli Kashyap: The shining star of Indian badminton at the Indonesian Open
The in-form Parupalli Kashyap started his campaign at the Indonesian Open Superseries Premier with a win over Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk. He followed it up with an upset of the fifth-seeded Son Wan Ho in straight games.
That set him up against the top-ranked Chen Long against whom he had lost the last four times in straight games. Kashyap came out firing and even though he lost the first game, managed to rebound in style to win 14-21, 21-17, 21-14 over Chen Long.
It was a heartbreaking loss against eighth seed Kento Momota in the semis where the Indian was narrowly edged out 21-12, 17-21, 19-21.
Saina Nehwal bowed out in the quarter-finals
Indian badminton queen Saina Nehwal began with an emphatic victory over Nichaon Jindapon and then posted a comfortable second round win over Ya Ching Hsu. However, the India No. 1 crashed out in a 21-16, 12-21, 21-18 defeat to her old nemesis Shixian Wang in the quarters.
The tournament also came to a pre-mature end for PV Sindhu who succumbed to a three-game defeat to Ya Ching Hsu in the opening round.
There was more heartbreak on the men’s side too as India No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth tumbled out of the tournament in the second round. Srikanth, who began with an 11-21, 21-14, 24-22 win over Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, went down to qualifier Ginting Anthony of Indonesia in the next round. It was a 14-21, 22-20, 21-13 loss for the fourth seed.
Doubles too could not bring any cheer to the Indian badminton contingent in Jakarta. In women’s doubles, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa succumbed to a 21-8, 21-18 defeat to the seventh seeds Yu Yang/Zhong Qianxin in the second round.
The men’s doubles pairs too did not fare any better. Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar crashed out 13-21, 11-21 to fifth seeds Chai Biao/Hong Wei in the second round. Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy bowed out in the opening round after a 13-21, 11-21 loss to the fourth-seeded duo of Lee Sheng Mu/Tsai Chia Hsin.
Sai Praneeth captures Sri Lanka International
Meanwhile, top-seeded B Sai Praneeth clinched the Sri Lanka International Challenge title last week, beating compatriot Sameer Verma 21-18, 21-8 in the final. The mixed doubles title was captured by the Indian pair of Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan. The second-seeded duo defeated Aussies Robin Middleton and Leanne Choo 15-21, 21-17, 21-13 in the summit clash.
However, luck ran out for the women’s doubles team of Pradnya Gadre and N Sikki Reddy as they fell 17-21, 21-14, 14-21 to Thai pair of Chaladchalam Chayanit and Phataimas Muenwong in the final.
Apart from them, Shlok Ramchandran and Sanyam Shukla reached the quarter-finals of men’s doubles.
The big news this week is the return of Parupalli Kashyap in the world’s top 10. Kashyap, whose highest ranking was No. 6 in 2013, is now placed at 10th in the latest rankings. Thus, India currently has two players in the top 10 in the men’s singles category with Kidambi Srikanth occupying the 3rd position. Meanwhile, HS Prannoy was static at the 13th spot.
Outside the top 30, Ajay Jayaram gained one place to be 34th, B Sai Praneeth rose two places to be 40th while RMV Gurusaidutt jumped one place to be 50th. However, Anand Pawar dropped one spot to be placed at 44th.
In women’s singles, Saina Nehwal rose a spot to be ranked No. 2 while PV Sindhu maintained her 14th position.
There was also a rise for former World Championships bronze medallists Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa in women’s doubles. They gained two spots to be placed at No. 15 in the latest rankings.