Hemanth lets top-seeded Ansal off the hook

The unseeded Hemanth messed up his drops and frequently netted his smashes to help Ansal level at 20 and make a great escape a little later.

Kerala's Treesa Jolly in action during the women's singles first round match of the Yonex-Sunrise Mathrubhumi senior National-ranking badminton tournament at Kozhikode.   -  S.RAMESH KURUP

Ansal Yadav defeated Karnataka’s M.G. Hemanth in the Yonex-Sunrise Mathrubhumi senior National-ranking badminton tournament at the V.K.K. Menon indoor stadium here on Thursday evening.

The men’s top-seed from UP was down 15-19 in the decider but he enjoyed a large slice of luck after that as his opponent, who appeared to be a great retriever for a major part of the match, committed a series of errors.

The unseeded Hemanth messed up his drops and frequently netted his smashes to help Ansal level at 20 and make a great escape a little later.

“The court was very slow on both sides,” said the 21-year-old left-handed Ansal after the 14-21, 21-17, 22-20 victory.

Meanwhile, Railway’s Kanika Kanwal, the women’s top seed, defeated Pavithra Naveen, who emerged as Kerala’s youngest State women’s champion a few months ago, 21-16, 21-17.

Air India’s unseeded Purva Barve packed off Goa’s third-seeded Anura Prabhudesai in another women’s opening round encounter.

Select results (singles, first round):

Men: Ansal Yadav (UP) bt M.G. Hemanth (Kar) 14-21, 21-17, 22-20; Kiran George (Ker) bt R. Manigandan (TN) 21-10, 21-17.

Women: Kanika Kanwal (Rly) bt Pavithra Naveen (Ker) 21-16 21-17; A.J. Niranjana (Ker) bt Aradhyaa Kushwaha (UP) 21-19, 21-10; Nishita Varma (AP) bt B.R. Divya (Ker) 21-11, 21-18; Purva Barve, AI, def. Anura Prabhudesai (Goa) 21-19, 23-21;

Anuriya Das (Rly) bt Nayana Oasis (Ker) 21-12, 21-17; Shikha Gautam (AI) bt  Arushi Singh (UP) 21-10, 21-19; Mugdha Agrey (Mah) bt Riya Pillai (Kar) 23-21, 23-21; Ira Sharma (Har) bt Diya Arun (Ker) 21-16, 21-15; Ruby Singh (Cg) bt Varsha Venkitesh (Ker) 21-19, 6-21, 21-18; Treesa Jolly (Ker) bt Treesa Wilson (Ker) 21-11, 21-9; Aadya Variyath (Ker) bt Gnanadha Karthikeyan (TN) 21-8, 21-13; Malvika Bansod (AAI) bt Bharti Pal (Del) 21-13, 21-11; Neha Pandit (Mah) bt Sarah Alma Basil (Ker) 21-11, 21-7; P.C. Thulasi (Pet) bt Deepali Gupta (Cg) 21-5, 21-15; N. Aswathi (Ker) bt Anjali Pradip (Ker) 21-9, 21-16; Riya Mookerjee (Rly) bt M. Nivetha (TN) 21-13, 21-14.