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Rediff.com  » Sports » Chetan only Indian to win on first day

Chetan only Indian to win on first day

August 10, 2009 23:49 IST

India failed to exploit the home advantage as barring ace shuttler Chetan Anand none could advance to the second round on the first day of the World Badminton Championship in Hyderabad on Monday.

The men's doubles pair of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas, Aditi Mutatkar in women's singles, and mixed doubles pair of Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan crashed out the tournament in the first round itself.

Chetan was the lone Indian who shone on the first day by winning his men's singles opener against Korean Ji Hoon Hong 21-8 21-16 in 32 minutes.

After a high of recent success at the Asian circuit, Rupesh-Sanave hit a low as they lost 13-21 21-23 to the 14th seed Japanese pair of Kenichi Hayakawa and Kenta Kazuno in just over half an hour match.

Aditi Mutatkar had a disappointing outing as she lost to world number 11 Juliane Schenk 8-21 12-21.

Arun and Aparna also succumbed to Japanese pair of Noriyasu Hirata and Shizuka Matsuo 14-21 20-22 in 29 minutes.

Meanwhile, top seed Malaysian Lee Chong Wei won his opener against Dieter Domke 21-14 21-10 in just 25 minutes, while Chinese fifth seed Lin beat Misha Zilberman 21-9 21-11.

However, Lin's compatriot Bao Chunlai was handed a shock defeat by Dicky Palyama of Holland, while world number three Dane Peter Hoeg Gade beat Valeriy Atrashchenkov 21-11 21-16 in the tournament opener.

Chetan started off on an attacking note and smashed hard everytime the shuttle went up and involved in dribbles and long rallies to outlast his opponent.

"I'm very happy with my performance but I feel I can play better. I committed some unforced errors but overall my plan of an attacking game paid off.

"A three weeks stint in Prakash Padukone academy did a world of good to me and it acted as a motivating factor. Prakash sir had asked me to concentrate on my game and I did just that.

"However, in the middle of the second game a decision went against me and I started making unforced errors but I overcame it at the right time," he said.

However, Rupesh and Sanave had no luck or pluck and the former said he was finding it difficult to judge the shuttle and the air-conditioner made it unplayable.

"We didn't have any luck today and some unforced errors and silly mistakes put paid to our chances. We didn't get the right feeling straight from the start and were finding it difficult to get used to the court. There was too much drift because of the air-conditioners," said Rupesh, who along with Sanave had won the New Zealand Open Grand Prix last month and were runners-up at the Australian Open.

After seeing the first game slipping out of their hands, the world number 18 Indian pair pulled up their shocks and were leading 20-16 before eventually losing.

"We  were good in second game and was leading 20-16 but I don't know what happened, whether it was luck or lapse of concentration we just couldn't do it today," Rupesh said.

"We were high on confidence after the recent success and we had almost pulled off the match. I was finding it difficult to judge the momentum of the shuttle. It was almost unplayable," Rupesh said.

In the women's singles, Aditi blamed her loss on the lack of national tournament and said she was not confident enough for such a big event.

"I had prepared well for the tournament but lost the mental game. I think may be a stint in the domestic circuit could have boosted my confidence for such a big event," she said.

In another match, Peter Gade beat Valeriy Atrashchenkov 21-11 21-16, while Dutch Dicky Palyama defeated 11th seed Chunlai 21-18 21-14 in their first round matches.

Chunlai had won the Singapore Open in June this year.

"I have beaten him during Korean Open while qualifying for the Olympics and this is the second time that I have beaten him. I have lost twice but I am 30 and getting old. So it feels great that I can still beat him," said Dicky.

Amit Kumar Das
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