Basel: Defending champion Saina Nehwal remained the lone bright spot for India as all her compatriots took the exit route, in the pre-quarterfinal stage, from the $125,000 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold on Thursday. Parupalli Kashyap, H.S. Prannoy and P.V. Sindhu lost their respective matches here at St. Jakobshalle in the tier three tournament.
Women's singles top seed Saina had a pretty easy outing against Petya Nedelcheva of Bulgaria as the Indian won 21-15, 21-10 in half an hour to take a 6-2 lead in career head-to-head. Saina, who Thursday reclaimed World No.2, will next face Chinese Taipei's sixth seed Tzu Ying Tai in the quarterfinal.
Though the Hyderabadi has a 4-2 lead in career meetings over Tzu, but importantly the Taipei player has won the last two encounters including this year's Malaysia Open semifinal when Tzu beat Saina in straight games. Meanwhile, London Olympics quarterfinalist Parupalli Kashyap suffered a shock loss against old nemesis in the men's singles third round.
Defending champion Saina Nehwal remained the lone bright spot for India defeating Petya Nedelcheva 21-15, 21-10.
On the day he reached his career-best ranking of World No.7, Kashyap went down to Malaysian ninth seed Wei Feng Chong 21-18, 7-21, 16-21 in 55 minutes. This was the fifth seed's third consecutive loss against the World No. 18 Malaysian. Kerala boy H.S. Prannoy, who upset seventh seed Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand Wednesday, failed to impress again as he went down in a marathon encounter against fifteenth seed Tien Chen Chou of Chinese Taipei.
The World No.26 won 21-16, 15-21, 21-15 in exactly an hour. "I made a lot of unforced errors in the third game and he went up by 16-6. It was tough to cover up that lead. I hit some smashes which went into the net which were sure points. That changed the game. I am just disappointed to not make the quarterfinals," Prannoy told IANS from Basel. Rising shuttler P.V. Sindhu's run was also halted by another Asian, Yui Hashimotot of Japan, in 39 minutes in the women's singles.
The qualifier upset the Indian 23-21, 21-11 in their first ever career meet. It was also the end of the road for Thane duo Pranaav Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar who lost their men's doubles second round match to South Korean No.1 seeds Sung Hyun Ko and Yong Dae Lee 21-14, 21-12 in 26 minutes.