Hidayat falls in first round

Young Joshi upsets top seed but bows out in second round

Former Olympic champion and top seed Taufiq Hidayat bowed out in the first round of the men’s singles competition of the Syed Modi International India Open Grand Prix Gold here on Wednesday.

Indonesian Hidayat was beaten by 18-year-old promising youngster Pratul Joshi 21-17, 21-12 in 30 minutes in the USD 120,000 championship.

However, Joshi’s joy in the morning session proved short-lived in the post-lunch session as he lost the next round 18-21, 21-16, 20-22 to Hidayat’s compatriot Siswanto.

The boy from Dhar (Madhya Pradesh) hogged the limelight on the opening day with his giant-killing efforts and gutsy display before crashing out.

“He (Taufiq) is my idol. I was completely blank during the match. However, I have been studying his videos on Youtube. I guess it helped me a bit today. At my age, he (Taufiq) was already playing in the finals of the All-England,” said the self-effacing Joshi.
Hidayat seemed upset with the result and blamed “bad stomach” for his tardy show on the court today.

“I had a bad stomach and I was not feeling well,” said the top seed.
Apparently, Joshi was playing on painkillers due to a niggling bone injury, and it probably took a toll on him playing two high-pressure matches on the same day.

Meanwhile, London Olympics bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal conceded her first round match to Russia’s Ksemia Polikarpova, citing injury and fatigue.

Saina was just one-point away from reaching the next round at 21-17, 20-18 when the world number three conceded the tie.

In other matches, Olympic quarterfinalists P Kashyap overcame Russia’s Vladmir Malkov 24-22, 16-21, 21-18 to enter the men’s singles pre-quarters. Kashyap next plays Parinyawat Thongnuam of Thailand.

Ajay Jayram defeated Indonesian Sukamta Evert 21-9, 21-15 in the second round after an easy 21-15, 21-13 in the first round against Russia’s Nikita Khakimov.

K Srikanth also entered the pre-quarters with a comfortable win over compatriot Vinay Kumar Reddy, winning 21-12 21-12.

The second seeded player in the women’s singles, PV Sindhu cruised into the round of 16, with a 21-6, 21-12 win over Malaysia’s Li Lian Yang. Sindhu next faces Victoria Na of Australia.

Last year’s quarterfinalist Sourabh Verma, seeded six, lost to Soon Huat Goh of Malaysia 19-21, 14-21.

Eighth seed and Olympian Niluka Karunaratne of Sri Lanka also went down to Sung Min Park of South Korea 20-22, 21-15, 14-21.

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