New Delhi: India’s brightest young stars made it to the main draw of the India Open Superseries at the Siri Fort Complex here on Tuesday. Among those who qualified were Sourabh Verma and world junior semifinalists HS Prannoy and Sai Praneeth. Veteran Anup Sridhar, attempting a comeback into national reckoning, also made it to the main draw.
Among the women, the most impressive qualifier was national junior champ PV Sindhu, while two former national champions – Trupti Murgunde and Sayali Gokhale – too joined her. The only Indian who could not make it among the qualifiers was national championships runner-up Arundhati Pantwane, who was bested 21-17 14-21 21-13 by Hong Kong’s Lok Yan Poon. Pantwane had pulled through a tough first round match against Hong Kong’s Ying Suet Tse 21-19 14-21 22-20 and the effort seemed to have drained her.
Sai Praneeth, considered the most promising young talent in Indian badminton, breezed past Manish Gupta in the first qualifying round before running into Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon. The Indian managed to scratch past him in a 21-19 21-19 result, and will next take on Taufik Hidayat in the first round of the main draw.
The one big upset was top seed Aditya Elango, who was bundled out by Oscar Bansal, who in turn was whipped 21-16 21-11 by HS Prannoy, the Youth Olympics silver medalist.
Anup Sridhar overcame Vikram Saini easily before running into a determined K Nandagopal. The Bangalore boy won the first 21-14 but struggled in the second before prevailing 25-23.
Sourabh Verma had an impressive win over Malaysian second seed Chun Seang Tan 21-12 20-22 21-12.
Qualifiers: MS: HS Prannoy, Sai Praneeth, Anup Sridhar, Sourabh Verma
WS: Sayali Gokhale, Trupti Murgunde, PV Sindhu, Lok Yan Poon.
Match-ups: MS: 1-Lee Chong Wei (Mas) vs Ajay Jayaram (Ind); 4-Boonsak Ponsana (Tha) vs Guru Sai Dutt (Ind); Peter Gade (Den) vs Shon Wan Ho (Kor)
WS: Saina Nehwal (Ind) vs Ai Goto (Jpn); Aditi Mutatkar (Ind) vs 4-Yip Pui Yin (HK); 5-Eriko Hirose (Jpn) vs Adriyanti (Ina)