Saina Nehwal, Guru Sai Dutt progress to second round of Indonesia Open Super Series
Dev S Sukumar
Jakarta, June 23: P Kashyap’s mother Subhadra is a fan of Taufik Hidayat. She doesn’t usually attend badminton matches, but at the World Championships last August, she made it a point to watch Taufik in action – such is the Indonesian’s allure.
On Wednesday, however, she was forced to pray for his defeat – her son was taking on the former Olympic and world champion on his home turf, in the first round of the Indonesia Open Super Series. Taufik, the darling of a fanatical home crowd, has won an impressive six titles – nothing seems to lift him as much as playing in Indonesia.
For a while on Wednesday, it looked like the Indian – who reached the semifinals of the Singapore Open Super Series last week – would spoil the party. He breezed through 21-12 in the first game, and remained within a couple of points all the way in the second, eventually losing 21-19. In the third he ran ahead 4-0, but the crafty Indonesian world No.5 managed to peg back the young Indian and sealed his place in the second round with a 21-16 result in the third.
“It was just a couple of points in the second set,” said Subhadra, on phone from Hyderabad. “Taufik is very difficult to beat in Indonesia. If it was anyone else, I think Kashyap would’ve pulled it off.”
It was a mixed day otherwise for India. Saina Nehwal, in the form of her life, had it tough against Korean Sung Ji Hyun in a 22-20 17-21 21-14 result, while fellow-Hyderabadi Guru Sai Dutt had an impressive win over Hong Kong’s Yan Kit Chan, 21-18 21-13. Joining Kashyap on the sidelines were Chetan Anand, Aditi Mutatkar and Ajay Jayaram.
“I’ll win next time,” said Kashyap. “I will.”
Indian results: First round:
Saina Nehwal bt Sung Ji Hyun (Kor) 22-20 17-21 21-14; Guru Sai Dutt bt Yan Kit Chan (HK) 21-18 21-13; Taufik Hidayat (Ina) bt P Kashyap 12-21 21-19 21-16; Tanongsak S bt Ajay Jayaram 25-23 22-20; Yip Pui Yin (HK) bt Aditi Mutatkar 21-17 21-14; Wing Ki Wong (HK) bt Chetan Anand 21-15 21-9