All Indian shuttlers, Parupalli Kashyap, Sameer Verma and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty, were playing against higher-ranked opponents.
India’s challenge in the men’s half of the Indonesia Masters Super 500 event came to an early closure with shuttlers bowing out in the opening round of the competition in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Hours after Kidambi Srikanth and Sourabh Verma failed to go beyond the first hurdle, Parupalli Kashyap, Sameer Verma, HS Prannoy and the men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty too were dealt a similar fate.
Prannoy was the victim of Jonatan Christie of Indonesia, losing his opening match 17-21, 14-21, while the Rankireddy-Shetty combination were seen off by the second seeded Indonesian duo of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan. The Indonesians won the tie 22-20, 21-15.
Facing world no.7 Ginting meant Parupalli Kashyap was always going to be a dark horse in the clash and the second-ranked Indonesian men’s shuttler didn’t disappoint his fans either playing on his soil.
Despite Parupalli Kashyap starting the first game on a stronger note to lead 11-6 at the break, Ginting showed resilience to cut the six-point deficit and made it level at 13-13. The Indonesian then won eight of the next nine points to win the first game 21-14.
The second game didn’t see Parupalli Kashyap as competitive as he was in the first and gave up the game pretty early on to trail 4-11 at the break. And though he showed some grit to narrow things down at 9-12, the Indonesian, however, won six consecutive points thereafter to take the game beyond that. Ginting eventually sealed the match 21-14, 21-12 in straight games.
Sameer, Syed Modi International winner in 2018, came out second best in a closely contested game against local star Tommy Sugiarto, ranked 22 in the BWF rankings. The Indian shuttler was neck-and-neck with his competitor for the most part of the first game, but Sugiarto picked up three consecutive points, in the end, to win it 21-17.
The Indonesian started the second game brightly as well, leading 11-5 at the interval, but Sameer Verma fought back brilliantly after the break, claiming nine of the next 12 points. The 25-year-old continued that fine form winning the second game 21-19 to forge a way back.
Two gruelling games, however, had taken a toll on the Indian shuttler as he struggled to replicate the same intensity in the decider. Sameer Verma lost the third game 10-21, as Sugiarto held the upper hand throughout that final game.
India’s top-ranked men’s doubles duo Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty made a less-than-ideal start to 2020 as they were dumped out of the Indonesia Masters in the first round. The duo was beaten 20-22, 15-21 by the second-seeded Indonesian pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
The Indians made a good start to the match and were leading 5-2 at one point in the first game, but their opponents clawed their way back into the contest. Both sides had little to separate in the first game, but Ahsan and Setiawan managed to pick two points at the death to win 22-20.
The second game was also closely contested till the mid-point before the local favourites drifted away post the interval, picking up five points on the trot. Ahsan and Setiawan ultimately won the game 22-20, 21-15 to advance into the next round.