India had a good day at the Canada Open Grand Prix on Tuesday, as five out of six shuttlers in the men’s singles draw won their first-round matches. The victors were HS Prannoy, P Kashyap, Sarang Lakhanee, Karan Rajan Rajarajan, and Abhishek Yelegar. Harsheel Dani was the only Indian in the draw who lost his first-round clash.
Second seed Prannoy needed 40 minutes to dispatch Mexico’s Job Castillo 21-13, 21-15. The two players were locked on points in the first half of the first game till 8-8, before Prannoy pulled away and never looked back. Leading 12-10, he won six points on the trot to all but put the game out of Castillo’s reach, before winning it 21-13.
The second game followed a similar pattern, with the scores tied 10-10 before Prannoy launched his surge. The Indian again won six straight points to make it 16-10, before taking the game 21-15, and sealing his progress to round two.
Sixteenth seed P Kashyap had an easier outing as he sent Peru’s Daniel La Torre Regal packing 21-11, 21-9 in just 23 minutes. Regal was never in the contest in both games, as Kashyap raced away to take big leads and run away with the match. The 90th-ranked Yelegar also needed just 25 minutes to beat Vietnam’s Hoang Nam Nguyen 21-15, 21-5.
World No 198 Lakhanee was stretched to three games by his Canadian opponent Eugene Chan. Lakhanee won the first game easily, 21-9, before Chan fought back to take the second 21-17. However, the Canadian could not put up a fight in the decider, which Lakhanee clinched 21-7 to seal his progress after 40 minutes of play.
World No 337 Rajarajan was also involved in a three-game match, against Croatia’s Zvonimir Durkinjak. The 20-year-old Indian lost the first game 13-21, before winning the next two 21-10 and 21-13.
The 21-year-old Dani was up against 11th seed Lucas Corvee of France, who is ranked more than 40 places above the Indian. Dani, the current world No 101, lost the match 11-21, 7-21 in just 29 minutes to exit at the first hurdle.