Ajay packs off Arvind

Anup Sridhar eases past Anand to enter main draw

Ajay packs off Arvind

India’s K Ajay Kumar shocked an in-form Arvind Bhat to enter the men’s singles main draw of the Yonex Sunrise India Open Super Series badminton at the Siri Fort Sports Complex  on  Tuesday.

The 65th ranked Bhat, who won the German Open Grand Prix Gold title this year, lost to his 310th ranked opponent 20-22, 21-23 in the final qualifying round. Ajay now runs into World No 1 and top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the opening round.

Ajay said he would give his best against Chong Wei. “This is for the first time I’m playing in a competition of this level. I have never beaten Arvind before. This is my best performance so far. I am just happy to be in the main draw of a Super Series event. I am now looking forward to my match against Lee Chong Wei.  He is a word class player, but you don’t always get an opportunity to play against the best in the world. It will be a big motivation for me and I will give my 100 per cent,” said the 22-year-old Kumar, a native of Hyderabad.

Bhat, 34, was understandably disappointed with the loss and admitted it came as a surprise for him. “I am 34 and every session is a bonus for me now at this age. The defeat was a surprise for sure as I was expecting to turn out against Lee Chong Wei tomorrow,” said Bhat. “But I am not going to mull over the loss. He played better at crucial points. I relaxed after the German Open as it has been hectic for me.”

Bhat will now be heading to play in the New Zealand Open. “I am planning to compete in New Zealand next. But it depends on my fitness. I cannot compete in every tournament, as I have to be careful with the selection of tournaments,” he said.

Apart from Kumar, Anup Sridhar and Shreyansh Jaiswal were the other Indians who qualified for the men’s singles main draw. In the women’s section, Mudra Dhainjej, Sayali Gokhale and Shruti Mundada qualified for the main draw.

Important Indian results: Final round qualifier: K Ajay Kumar bt Arvind Bhat 22-20, 23-21; Anup Sridhar bt Chetan Anand 21-14,21-16; Shreyansh Jaiswal bt Subhankar Dey 21-19, 14-21, 21-8.

Women’s final round: Shruti Mundada bt Sanskriti Chhabria 21-11, 21-6; Sayali Gokhale bt Jyoti Nashier 21-12, 21-5; Mudra Dhainje bt Dhanya Nair 21-15, 21-11.

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