Syed Modi Grand Prix: Jaiswal takes out Jayaram

Shreyash Jaiswal, ranked 217, hogged the spotlight on the opening day of the $120,000 Syed Modi International Grand Prix badminton championship to send World No. 21 and sixth seed Ajay Jayaram packing.

Shreyansh Jaiswal upset Ajay Jayaram.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

K.Srikanth who beat Joo Ven Soong of of Malaysia in the Syed Modi International Badminton Championship, on Wednesday. Photo Rajeev Bhatt   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Indeed, it was meant to be a stage for the lesser-known Indians to prove a point or two. Of the lot, Shreyash Jaiswal, ranked 217, hogged the spotlight on the opening day of the $120,000 Syed Modi International Grand Prix badminton championship to send World No. 21 and sixth seed Ajay Jayaram packing.

Following a series of unexpected results across all five events on Wednesday, P. V. Sindhu remained the lone Indian in the ladies pre-quarterfinals before top seed K. Srikanth and title-holder P. Kashyap were joined by gate-crashers Harsheel Dani and Jaiswal in the men’s round of 16.

Kashyap squandered seven match points in the second game before coming out stronger in the 78-minute contest against Singapore’s Zi Liang Wong Derek 21-14, 26-28, 21-17.

The 178th-ranked Dani, who dramatically lost nine points on the trot to let 16th seed B. Sai Praneeth take the opening game, got his act right in the remaining two games.

After Jaiswal stayed aggressive against an error-prone Jayaram for a 21-18, 15-21, 21-15 victory after the latter saved five match-points, Anand Pawar and Sameer Verma failed to prove their superiority over lower-ranked Chinese rivals. In fact, Sameer led 14-8 and 15-12 in the decider before losing to 76th ranked Huang Yuxiang, the conqueror of fourth seed H. S. Prannoy in the opening round.

The 66th-ranked Anand, who led by a point after the halfway stage of the decider against Zhu Siyuang, ranked a distant 141, gave away too many negative points in the closing stages.

Earlier, Gurusaidutt crashed to his third straight defeat and fourth in six meetings to Malaysia’s Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin. Runner-up in the Malaysia Masters on Sunday, Iskandar won 21-10, 21-17.

The home challenge in doubles met an expected fate. On the brighter side, the ladies duo of G. Jwala and Ashwini Ponnappa cruised to the round of 16.

In the ladies singles, where P. V. Sindhu kept the home interest alive in the pre-quarterfinals, Tanvi Lad — the third highest Indian as per world rankings — was blown away by second seeded Korean Sung Ji Hyun, before National Games champion P. C. Thulasi fell to her seventh seeded Thai rival.

In men’s doubles, Japan’s Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda upstaged World No. 14 and seventh seeded Chinese Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen in three games to avenge the defeat suffered in the China Open in November last year.

Important results (Indians unless stated; prefix denotes seeding):

Men’s singles: Second round: 1-K. Srikanth bt Joo Ven Soong (Mal) 21-18, 21-14. Shreyansh Jaiswal bt Ajay Jayaram 21-18, 15-21, 21-15; 11-Boonsak Ponsana (Tha) bt Pratul Joshi 11-21, 21-13, 21-16; P. Kashyap bt Wong Zi Liang Derek (Sin) 21-14, 26-28, 21-17; Huang Yuxiang (Chn) bt Sameer Verma 19-21, 21-12, 21-17; Zhu Siyuan (Chn) bt Anand Pawar 20-22, 21-12, 21-16; Harsheel Dani bt B. Sai Praneeth 14-21, 21-17, 21-16; Shi Yuqi (Chn) bt Sourabh Varma 21-12, 21-23, 21-12; Giap Chin Goh (Mal) bt Aditya Joshi 17-21, 21-16, 21-17.

First round: Huang Yuxiang (Chn) bt 5-H. S. Prannoy 21-12, 21-17; Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin (Mal) bt R. M. V. Gurusaidutt 21-10, 21-17; Zhu Siyuan (Chn) bt Takuma Ueda (Jpn) 21-14, 21-14.

Women’s singles: First round: Iris Wang (Mal) bt 4-Bae Yeon Ju (Tpe) 21-15, 16-21, 21-15; 7-Busanan Ongbumrungphan (Tha) bt P. C. Thulasi 21-14, 21-23, 21-19; 2-Sung Ji Hyun (Kor) bt Tanvi Lad 21-9, 21-6; 3-P. V. Sindhu bt Riya Mukherjee 21-6, 21-7.

Men’s doubles: First round: 4-Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol (Kor) bt Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy 21-18, 21-16; Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda (Jpn) bt 7-Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen (Chn) 16-21, 21-19, 23-21.

Women’s doubles: First round: 6-G. Jwala and Ashwini Ponnappa bt Heather Olver and Lauren Smith (Eng) 21-6, 21-14; Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) bt 4-Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon (Mal) 21-18, 16-21, 21-13; Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai (Tha) bt 8-Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva (Rus) 21-13, 21-8.

Mixed doubles: First round: Kenta Kazuno and Ayane Kurihara (Jpn) bt Manu Attri and Ashwini Ponnappa 15-21, 21-12, 21-11.