India’s Arvind Bhat and Trupti Murgunde crashed out of the singles event on the opening day of the main draw of Badminton Asia Championships here Wednesday.
Bhat, seeded 16th, lost to Ji Hoon Hong of Korea 15-21, 21-13, 6-21 in the second round. The Indian had defeated Nepalese Bikash Shrestha 21-14, 21-11 in his first match at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
“I was not so strong today. I am coming back from an ankle injury and lacked power in my strokes. I gave him (Ji Hoon) a big lead in both the games I lost and it made it difficult for me to comeback,” said Bhat.
Murgunde went down to Julia Pei Xian Wong of Malaysia 17-21, 12-21 in first round.
There were some disappointments in store as young Gurusaidatt, Ajay Jairam and K. Nandgopal made first round exits from the men’s singles event.
Anup Sridhar, Anand Pawar and Parupalli Kashyap, however, breezed to the second round along with Aditi Mutatkar, who put up a valiant fight to overcome Mingtian Fu of Singapore 21-11, 17-21, 21-18.
“I desperately wanted to win this match. I was down in the third game and then rallied back. It will boost my confidence in the coming matches,” said Mutatkar, who is making a comeback from a knee injury.
Sridhar began the proceedings for India with a 16-21, 21-13, 21-8 victory over Korean Ye Wook Rho. Sridhar, world No.43, looked rusty in the first game but came back well to win the next two.
“I should have won it in two games,” conceded Sridhar. “I lost my focus in the first game. I switched off for a moment and that allowed him to come back. But then I tried to keep the shuttle above him or kept it low. That worked for me.”
Kashyap, India’s highest ranked player in men’s singles at 30, gave a good display to dispatch Hong Kong’s Wing Ki Wong 21-14, 21-15 . Both players were locked 10-10 in the second game before Kashyap stepped up the ante to open a 17-14 lead.
“This is a good victory for me. I was shaky in the start and some of my lifts were short. But I recovered in time and started playing aggressively. Wong is a competitive player and he has been in a good form since January,” Kashyap beamed.
Gurusaidatt lost a gruelling encounter against Korean Ho Jin Choi 19-21, 22-20, 21-19. The see-saw match went for almost an hour and the stream of errors from the Indian proved to be his undoing.
“Whenever the Korean took the lead, it unsettled me. I was slow and should have been more aggressive. I wanted to keep my shots down as I was having problem lifting the shuttle but he was prepared for it,” said a dejected Gurusaidutt.
Ajay Jairam also gave a tough fight before going down to Hong Kong’ Yan Kit Chan 21-14, 13-21, 17-21. Nandgopal went down to Indonesian Nugroho Andi Saputro 15-21, 15-21.
Pawar made short work of Sophorn Noun of Cambodia 21-3, 21-6 and next faces World and Olympic champion Lin Dan, who downed Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon 21-11, 21-14.
Top seed Taufik Hidayat also warmed up for the tournament with a 21-6, 21-9 demolition of Nepal’s Indra Mehta.