Former All England champion Pullela Gopichand made an emphatic return to the court as he eased past compatriot Rituparna Kulkarni in the first round in the US $10,000 Asian Satellite badminton championship in Hyderabad on Monday.
Gopichand, who was out of action for over eight months due to a knee-injury, showed no signs of strain or pressure while brushing aside Kulkarni 15-5, 15-4 at the Gachibowli Indoor stadium.
Top seed Abhinn Shyam Gupta lived up to his billing as he trounced F Maserzadeh of Iran 15-4, 15-1 while national champion Chetan Anand moved into the next round defeating D Karunaratanee of Sri Lanka 15-11, 15-2.
In the men's doubles Marcos Bristow and Jaison Xavier (India) got the better of Wajid Ali and Omar Zeeshan (Pakistan) 15-5, 15-6.
In the women's singles, Krishna Deka Raja of India tamed a fighting Thilini Jayasinghee (Sri Lanka) 11-7, 11-6 to move into the second round.
Results (Men's singles): Mangrish Paleker (India) bt Pankaj Chand (Nepal) 15-4, 15-2; Kuriniawan Rizki (Indonesia) bt Eneyatullah Khan (Bangladesh) 15-8, 15-6; Anuj Gupta (India) bt Omar Zesjam (Pakistan) 15-10, 7-15, 17-14; Wraianto Hendri (Indonesia) bt Rohan Castelino (India) 15-7, 15-4, 15-13; Joy Anthony (India) bt Pineri Pasupati (Nepal) 11-15, 15-3, 15-4; P V S K Lingeshwara Rao (India) bt Yara Pahalwan (Iran) 15-8, 9-15, 15-10; Gopichand (India) bt Rituparna Kulkarni 15-5, 15-4; Abhinn Shyam Gupta (India) bt Maserzateh (Iran) 15-5, 15-1; Chetan Anand (India) bt D Karunaratanee (Srilanka) 15-11, 15-2.
Women's singles: Krishna Deka Raja (India) bt Jaisinghee T (Sri Lanka) 11-7, 11-6; Dhanya Nair (India) bt Tilhini DeSilva (Sri Lanka) 11-1, 11-3.
Men's doubles: Kusuma Stenny and Wiranto Hendry (INA) bt Wqas Ahmed and Tahir Mir (Pakistan) 13-15, 15-6, 15-7; R Kulkarni and Jibi Verghees (India) bt Jabed Mohammed and Parash Mohammed (Bangladesh) 15-2, 17-16; Bristow Marcos and Xavier Jaison (India) bt Wajid Ali and Zeeshan Omer (Pakistan) 15-5, 15-6.