Malaysian Open: Mixed day for Indians
It was a mixed day for Indians at the Malaysian Open Grand Prix badminton here with women's top seed PV Sindhu, men's 11th seed RMV Gurusaidutt, Sameer Verma and K Srikanth winning their second-round matches.
However, it was the end of the road for the highly talented HS Pranoy, a quarter-finalist at the recently concluded India Open Super Series, men's doubles pair of Sanjeeth and Jagadish Yadav and women players Tanvi Lad, Thulasi PC, and Arundhati Pantawane.
India's rising star Sindhu lived up to her top billing with a 21-13, 19-21, 21-13 win against Singapore's Jiayuan Chen.
In the men's, 23-year-old Gurusaidutt gave a lesson in badminton to Malaysian Goh Giap Chin, beating him 21-8, 21-9.
But the biggest upset of the day was created by Verma, who shocked another Malaysian and fourth seed Chong Wei Feng, who failed to live up to his reputation after an impressive showing at the recently held Badminton Asia Championships.
The fourth seeded shuttler crashed out at the hands of Verma 15-21, 21-16, 21-19 in a match that lasted just shy of an hour.
With his early exit, Malaysia's best bet at the tournament lies in the hands of Daren Liew. The third seeded Daren moved into a third round to set up a clash with Srikanth after a 21-18, 21-14 win over Chinese qualifier Huang Yuxiang.
Srikanth also pulled of a stunning win, beating 14th seed Thai Suppanyu Avihingsanon 21-9 21-19.
It will be second meeting between Daren and Srikanth. The duo met a year ago at the same tournament with Daren squeezing through in three games.
Indian youngster Prannoy, who impressed with his win against Indonesian veteran Taufik Hidayat at the India Open last month, went down 21-15, 14-21 and 15-21 to the talented Malaysian Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin. Prannoy started off well to win the first game but faltered as the match progressed.
Men's singles: Sameer Verma (Ind) bt Wei Feng Chong (4, MAS) 21-15, 16-21, 21-19; RMV Gurusaidutt (11, Ind) bt Giap Chin Goh (Mas) 21-8, 21-9; K. Srikanth (Ind) bt Suppanyu Avihingsanon (14, THA) 21-9, 21-19; Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin (Mas) bt HS Prannoy 15-21, 21-14, 21-15.
Women's singles: Maria Febe Kusummastuti (Ina) bt Arundhati Pantawane (Ind) 13-21, 21-10 21-14; PV Sindhu (1, Ind) bt Jiayuan Chen (Sng) 21-13, 19-21, 21-13; Kana Ito (Jap) bt Tanvi Lad (Ind) 21-8, 21-14; Xue Yao (Chn) bt PC Thulasi (Ind) 21-18, 21-5
Men's doubles: Hardi Hardianto and Agripinna Prima Rahmanto Putra (Ina) bt Sanjeeth and Jagadish Yadav 21-16, 21-17