Parupalli Kashyap is the only Indian remaining in the Korea Open Badminton tournament after the exits of B Sai Praneeth, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal. (Image credit: Twitter)
Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap on Thursday advanced to the Korea Open men's singles quarterfinal after a three-game triumph over Malaysia's Daren Liew in Incheon. Kashyap prevailed 21-17 11-21 21-12 in a contest that lasted 56 minutes. He will next square off against the winner of the match between eighth-seeded Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and Denmark's Jan O Jorgensen. The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist is the lone Indian left in fray in BWF World Tour Super 500 tournament. Earlier, world champion P V Sindhu and the seasoned Saina Nehwal crashed out following first-round setbacks.
While Sindhu lost 7-21 24-22 15-21 to Beiwen Zhang of United States in her opening-round match, London Olympics bronze-medallist Saina was trailing 21-19, 18-21 and 1-8 against South Korea's Kim Ga Eun when she was forced to retire due to illness. World Championship men's singles bronze-medallist B Sai Praneeth also bowed out early from the tournament.
London Olympic bronze medallist Saina was trailing 21-19, 18-21 and 1-8 against South Korea's Kim Ga Eun when she was forced to retire. Saina's husband and personal coach Kashyap said she retired because of gastroenteritis problem. "It seems she had a relapse of the gastroenteritis that bothered her early in the year. She was feeling dizzy and vomited yesterday. In fact, she went to the stadium straight from the hospital today," he said. "Still she could have won but when it went to three games, she didn't have anything left in her tank. We need to check with the doctor when we go back. It has been a difficult year for her."
Saina had a 2-0 head-to-head record against Eun in their previous matches. Saina has had a tough year owing to injuries. She won the Indonesia Open at the beginning of the season but has struggled since then. At the China Open Super 1000 event last week, she made a first-round exit. Sindhu also seems to be facing a rough patch after the high of winning the World Championships. The Olympic silver-medallist was knocked out of the China Open by Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong in the second round last week.
Interestingly, the 26-year-old former winner here had defeated Zhang en route her World Championships gold at Basel. The Chinese-born American prevailed over the Indian twice last year at the India Open and Denmark Open.