Making India Proud! P Kashyap upsets World No.4 Tago in French Open

Paris: Continuing his giant-killing spree, Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap stunned World No.4 Japanese Kenichi Tago 21-11, 21-18 in the first round of the French Open Super Series at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin here Wednesday.

Also reaching the second round were the Indo-Russian mixed doubles pair of Ashwini and Vladimir Ivanov, who beat Japanese pair of Keigo Sonoda and Shizuka Matsuo 21-16, 21-19.

Parupalli Kashyap
Parupalli Kashyap

However, young male shuttlers H.S. Prannoy and Sourabh Verma exited the competition following their losses to Kento Momota and Rajiv Ouseph, respectively.

While World No.31 Prannoy gave a valiant fight against World No.16 Momota of Japan, before going down 11-21, 21-15, 20-22 in an hour and nine minutes, World No.37 Sourabh was thrashed 10-21, 11-21 in 30 minutes by World No.25 Ouseph.

In the match between Kashyap and Tago, the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion was in his element from the beginning, taking a quick 5-1 lead which increased to 8-2.

Kashyap relied on regal cross-court smashes to pile further pressure on Tago to snatch points regularly and then it was an easy game for Kashyap as the Japanese failed to get going. Tago lost 11-21.

Continuing the momentum, Kashyap again rattled Tago to take a 5-1 lead before Tago put up a much-stronger fight to equalise at 7-7.

The Indian surged ahead again with a 10-7 lead. Tago worked hard to get even at 12-12 and forced Kashyap to trail for the first time in the match at 12-15.

However, Kashyap lifted his game to reduce the deficit at 17-17 before taking three consecutive points to seal the game 21-18 and enter the second round.

Later in the day, 2012 London Olympic bronze medal winner Saina Nehwal will take on hosts' challenger Sashina Vignes Waran in the first round while two-time World Championships bronze medallist P.V. Sindhu faces a tough opener against Thailand's Porntip Buranaprasertsuk.

In the women's doubles action, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa will meet the Dutch team of Eefje Muskens and Selena Peik to start their campaign.

The men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy, who have been on the upward move in the rankings lately, will face Chinese combine Liu Xialong and Qiu Zihan while Pranaav Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar will take on Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen of China.

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