Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap knocked out top seed Lee Hyun Il of Korea in the men’s singles opening round of the US Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament.
On a comeback trail after recovering from a shoulder injury, Kashyap dished out a gritty performance to stave off the challenge from World No. 15 Lee 21-16 10-21 21-19 in a match that lasted an hour and three minutes.
Fifth seed Sameer Verma, who also is making a comeback after recovering from a shoulder problem, made a positive start to his campaign by defeating Vietnam’s Hoang Nam Nguyen 21-5 21-10 in another men’s singles match.
Second seed H S Prannoy, who was in rampaging form at Indonesia Super Series Premier, also reached the second round after beating Austria’s Luka Wraber 21-12 21-16, while Harsheel Dani brushed aside Mexico’s Arturo Hernandez 21-13 21-9 in another match.
World No. 59 Kashyap will face Hungary’s Gergely Krausz, former National champion Sameer will take on Crotia’s Zvonimir Durkinjak, Prannoy will meet Ireland’s Joshua Magee and Dani will square off against Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen.
In women’s singles, Rituparna Das defeated Canada’s Rachel Honderich 21-16 21-18 and Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli beat USA’s Maya Chen 21-13 21-16.
However, it was curtains for Lakhanee Sarang, Abhishek Yelegar, Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka, Reshma Karthik and Ruthvika Shivani Gadde.
Lakhanee lost 16-21 13-21 to Kenta Nishimoto of Japan, Abhishek suffered a narrow 17-21 21-16 13-21 loss to third seed Brice Leverdez of France and Netherlands’ Gayle Mahulette ended Sai Uttejitha Rao’s campaign 23-25 21-13 21-16.
Ruthvika also put up a gallant fight before losing 14-21 27-25 16-21 to Japan’s Aya Ohori and Reshma’s fight too ended with a heart-breaking 21-12 16-21 15-21 loss against Sofie Holmboe Dahl of Denmark in the opening round.