Top seed and local favourite Saina Nehwal Wednesday pulled out of the Syed Modi Grand Prix badminton tournament citing fever while world number 29 Ajay Jayaram was stunned by 136th-ranked Pakkawat Vilailak of Thailand.
Saina, who finished runners-up in BWF World Superseries Finals in China last week, was unlikely to feature in the home event because of fatigue and the sudden fever put paid to her participation. Her first round opponent Ma Pai Hsiao of Chinese Taipei got a walkover to the next stage.
"Saina was suffering from fever during the practice session today. She also felt a pain in the muscles. Thus, the doctors have advised her at least three days' rest," said Uttar Pradesh Badminton Academy general secretary Vijay Sinha.
Ninth seed Jayaram suffered a 19-21, 19-21 against a little-known Vilailak in the opening round.
World No.26 Parupalli Kashyap beat fellow Indian Sagar Chopda 21-14, 21-14 in the first round.
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