India's Parupalli Kashyap continued his march at the ongoing Korea Open BWF World Tour Super 500 by defeating Daren Liew of Malaysia 21-17, 11-21, 21-12 in a battle that lasted almost an hour to book a place in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Kashyap, who defeated Chinese Taipei’s Lu Chia-hung in the opening round, made a swift start but stumbled in the second game only to blossom in the decider and register a fine victory.
Having shared equal spoils from their previous four encounters, Kashyap’s last meeting with Liew – who defeated the great Lin Dan in the first round - came in the quarterfinal of the 2014 Commonwealth Games en route to his gold medal victory.
On Thursday, the Indian got off to a slow start. From trailing 4-6 at one point, the 33-year-old went on to establish an 11-8 lead by the break, which later extended to an impressive 16-11. A few unforced errors, however, allowed the Malaysian to reduce the deficit to 15-16, but the Indian managed to hold on to his lead for the rest of the game.
The second game was all about Liew’s excellence. Ranked three places below Kashyap, who sits at the 30th position on the BWF charts, the 32-year-old Liew opened up an 11-2 lead by the second mid-game break. Conceding three consecutive points while at 20-8 though remained the only low as he brought the tie back on level terms.
Kashyap, the only Indian left in the tournament following the opening round exits of PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and B. Sai Praneeth, responded in the most perfect way possible. From 2-2 in the final game, he cruised to a 12-2 lead.
Four back to back points for Liew though did cause some concern, but the Indian made up for the miss to go ahead and increase his lead to 18-7. A quick exchange of points late in the game was eventually followed by Kashyap sealing victory to book a place in the quarterfinal, where he will square off against Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen.