Joshi stuns Hidayat; Saina concedes tie due to injury, fatigue
Lucknow: India`s Pratul Joshi on Wednesday created a flutter when the 18-year-old stunned the top seed and former Olympic champion Taufiq Hidayat in the first round men`s singles competition of the Syed Modi International India Open Grand Prix Gold here.
Joshi, a Delhi University student, was in belligerent form as he did not drop his speed at any stage and emerged victorious against the Indonesian 21-17 21-12 in 30 minutes in the USD 120,000 Gold Championship.
Joshi seemed as much surprised with the outcome as his rival.
However, Joshi`s joy in the morning session proved short-lived in the post-lunch session as he lost the next round 18-21 21-16 20-22 to Hidayat`s compatriot, the other Indonesian Siswanto.
Though, overall, the boy from Dhar (Madhya Pradesh) hogged the limelight on the opening day with his giant-killing efforts and gutsy display before crashing out.
"He (Taufiq) is my idol. I was completely blank during the match. However, I have been studying his videos on Youtube. I guess it helped me a bit today. At my age, he (Taufiq) was already playing in the finals of the All-England," said the self-effacing Joshi.
Hidayat seemed upset with the result and blamed "bad stomach" for his tardy show on the court today. "I had a bad stomach and I was not feeling well," said the top seed.
Apparently, Joshi was playing on painkillers due to a niggling bone injury, and it probably took a toll on him playing two high-pressure matches on the same day.
Meanwhile, London Olympics bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal conceded her first round match to Russia`s Ksemia Polikarpova, citing injury and fatigue.
Saina, who had won the first game 21-17 and was leading 20-18 in the second, failed to continue further and gave a walk-over to her opponent.
Saina later said she had some problem in the knee, which increased during the match.
The Hyderabadi girl also insisted that despite wanting to play she decided to pull out of this contest in view of the upcoming tournaments.
"I was not wearing my tape and was not at all confident with my knee injury which has prolonged since August 2012," said Saina.
In other matches, Olympic quarterfinalists P Kashyap beat Russia`s Vladmir Malkov 24-22 16-21 21-18 to enter the pre-quarters in the men`s singles.
Earlier, Indian star Ajay Jayram reached the men`s round of 16 in style when the Mumbai-based shuttler defeated Indonesian Sukamta Evert 21-9 21-15 in the second round after an easy 21-15 21-13 outing in the first against Russia`s Nikita Khakimov.
India`s K Srikanth also entered the pre-quarters with a comfortable win over compatriot Vinay Kumar Reddy, winning 21-12 21-12. The second seeded player in the women`s singles and world No.23, India`s PV Sindhu cruised into the round of 16, with a 21-6 21-12 win over Malaysia`s Li Lian Yang.