Five Indians enter main draw in men`s singles

Mumbai: Five Indians qualified for the men`s singles main draw of 32 in the Tata Open India Badminton Challenge at the Cricket Club of India courts here on Tuesday.

Advancing to the main round were Bahal Mayank, Jolly Prakash, Rohan Castelino, Nigel D`Sa and K Nandagopal. D`Sa was taken the distance by his rival in the last qualifying round.

D`Sa fought back from a game down to pack off Thailand`s Sirivat Matayanumati 17-21 21-8 22-20 in 43 minutes.

Son of former doubles specialist Leroy, D`Sa will meet Indonesia`s Riyanto Subagja in the first round tomorrow.

Behal, Castelino and Nandagopal won in straight games against their opponents from Nepal.

Nandagopal allowed Indra Mahata fight his way back from 14-20 to 18-20 before clinching the issue with a smash. He won 21-13 21-18 in 20 minutes.

Castelino and Behal ousted Bibek Shreshta and Bishal Pradhan 21-13 21-8 and 21-13 21-14 in 20 and 25 minutes respectively.

Jolly brushed aside Bangladesh`s Uddin Md Rais 21-17 21-8 in half an hour to earn a first-round meeting against another qualifier, Lee Jian Jee of Malaysia, who advanced with a 21-17 21-6 victory over Bangla rival Mostafa Mohammed Jabed.

The last two places in the main draw were grabbed by Indonesia`s Tene Andre Marteen and Bangladesh`s Enayetullah Khan.

Indonesia`s Yunus Alamsyah and India`s Ajay Jayaram are the top two seeds in the men`s section while Indonesia`s Ratnasari Fransiska is the favourite for the women`s title with India`s Trupti Murgunde seeded fourth.

India`s Anand Pawar, seeded third, pulled out of the championship as he got stuck in Europe following the cancellation of several flights due to snow and freezing conditions, and it took him 60 hours to reach Mumbai.

"He`s totally exhausted and that`s why he`s pulled out," Anand`s father Uday, a former international, told to reporters.

The other seeded Indians in the men`s singles main draw are Arvind Bhat, seeded fourth, and Anup Sridhar.