Indian shuttlers dominated the qualification rounds at the 2019 Syed Modi International Championships as four men and three women made it to the main draw of the tournament at the Babu Banarasi Das Stadium in Lucknow on Tuesday.
Youngster Alap Mishra cruised to victory in his first match against compatriot Harsheel Dani, winning 21-16, 21-12. His second match against Kiran George, who beat Raghu Mariswamy 22-20, 21-16, wasn’t as straightforward, as the two engaged in a closely-contested affair. The 19-year-old Mishra, though, came through 22-20, 22-20 in straight games to set up a first-round match against Mauritian shuttler Georges Julien Paul.
Rahul Yadav Chiitaboina had a relatively easier day, winning his first match 21-13, 21-17 against his fellow countrymen Kartikey Gulshan Kumar and his second 21-10, 21-16 over Aryamann Tandon. The 21-year-old will battle Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn for a place in the second round.
22-year-old Ansal Yadav had to fight hard for his place in the main draw. He saw off Mithun Manjunath 21-16, 13-21, 21-16 before beating Chirag Sen 21-18, 21-18 to earn a spot against seventh-seed Son Wan Ho in the first round.
Chinese Taipei’s Huang Ping-Hsien was the only overseas player to make it to the main draw from the qualifiers. The 19-year-old beat Shreyansh Jaiswal 21-10, 21-14 in his first match and was leading 11-4 in the first game against Kaushal Dharmamer when the Indian shuttler called it a day owing to an injury. Huang will take on Siril Verma in the first round tomorrow.
Lad digs deep
Over in the women’s qualifiers, Tanvi Lad fought back from a game down to beat Prashi Joshi 19-21, 21-18, 21-8 to set up a clash against Russian Natalia Perminova in the first round. Ashmita Chaliha overcame Aakarshi Kashyap 21-13, 21-18 to book her berth in the main draw. The 20-year-old will battle Vrushali Gummadi for a place in the second round.
Rituparna Das routed Shikha Gautam 21-10, 21-12 while Shruti Mundada triumphed 21-19, 21-13 in their qualifying matches. Das will face Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin while Mundada will duel with compatriot Riya Mookerjee.
Saina pulls out
The 29-year-old has been going through a difficult patch her career, having failed to get past the opening round in six attempts this season. The bronze medallist at the London 2012 Olympics, Nehwal, will hope to put the indifferent form aside ahead of the all-important Olympic year.