India Junior Int’l Grand Prix: Meiraba advances into quarters, Varun Kapur suffers shock defeat

The Indian is knocked out in the opening round by Thailand’s Varot Uraiwong.

Second seed Meiraba — who won the Russian Junior White Nights championship this year — beat Malaysia’s M. Fazriq Mohamad Razif 21-12, 21-13   -  Special Arrangement

Meiraba Luwang progressed to the quarterfinals but top seed Varun Kapur suffered a shock defeat in men’s singles on the opening day of the Yonex Sunrise India Junior International Grand Prix 2019 here on Friday.

Second seed Meiraba — who won the Russian Junior White Nights championship this year — beat Malaysia’s M. Fazriq Mohamad Razif 21-12, 21-13, and then followed it up with a 21-15, 21-12 win over Thailand’s Puritat Arree, who had earlier ended the run of qualifier Pranav Rao Gandham, 21-16, 17-21, 21-19.

However, World No. 9 Varun was knocked out in the opening round by Thailand’s Varot Uraiwong. Having dropped the opening game, the young Thai stormed back to stun Kapur with a 14-21, 22-20, 21-15 win. Qualifier Ayush Raj Gupta began his campaign with a fantastic 21-14, 21-13 win over higher-ranked Sai Charan Koya, but his challenge was cut short in the next round by Thailand’s fifth seed Woraphop Chuenkha in a 21-14, 21-13 win.

In girls’ singles, Gujarat’s Tasnim Mir displayed her skills in a 12-21, 21-8, 21-14 defeat of Samiya Imad Farooqui, the former U-15 Asian Championships gold-medallist. However, she was shown the door in the next round by fifth seed Miyu Takahashi in a gritty 21-17, 18-21, 18-21 loss.

Jolly enters quarterfinals

Treesa Jolly, seeded eighth, lived up to the expectations when she notched up two wins to enter the quarterfinals. Jolly first dismissed qualifier Riya Kunjir 22-20, 210-17, and then emerged a 14-21, 21-10, 22-20 winner in a hard-fought match against Thailand’s Thamonwan Nithiittikrai.

Asian Junior Championships bronze medallist and top seed Benyapa Aimsaard stormed into the last-eight stage with a couple of dominant wins. Living up to her billing, the Thai blitzed past India’s Kaivalya Lakshmi Yadavalli 21-11, 21-5 and then secured an effortless 21-14, 21-10 victory over local hope Mansi Singh.

Aimsaard’s compatriot, the fourth-seeded Pornpicha Choeikeewong, another consistent performer on the international junior circuit, also made it to the quarterfinals. India’s promising junior mixed doubles pair of Tanisha Crasto and Ishaan Bhatnagar, who had come to this tournament with a rich vein of form, toppled the eighth seeds Edwin Joy and Shruti Mishra 21-14, 21-16 to book their quarterfinal berth.

The pair had won Junior Ranking Tournaments in Panchkula and Bangalore over the last two weeks.

Fifth seeds Navaneeth Bokka and Sahithi Bandi eked out a gruelling 21-19, 21-17 win over Ayan Rashid and Tasnim Mir to join Crasto and Bhatnagar in the last-eight.