India started the New Zealand Open tournament in a mix with Lakshya Sen sealing a berth in the first main round of the competition while Parupalli Kashyap failed to make the cut. India kick start their main campaign tomorrow as Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy, Sai Praneeth and more take centre stage.
It was a busy day for the three Indian male shuttlers, who had to play the qualification round for the main draw. Sen’s first challenge was against compatriot Ajay Jayaram, which was the third match of the day. Despite his inexperience, Sen was the favourite going into the clash and he did justice to the tag by winning it 21-18 and 21-13 in straight games.
The 17-year-old was up against Malaysia’s Teck Zhi Soo next and the outcome wasn’t any different. While Jayaram had still shown some resistance at the face of Sen’s power game, Soo was completely outplayed by it as the Indian won 21-11, 21-12. He will face Wang Tzy Wei next.
Apart from them, Parupalli Kashyap was also in the fray and looked to make the final cut after a comprehensive 21-8, 21-9 win over Australia’s Peter Yan. However, calamity struck when Kashyap came up against China’s Sun Feixiang in the last round clash before the main draw.
The Chinese was never the second best in the 42-minute match as he led at the first game at the break before winning it 21-16. Kashyap did try to tighten the screw in the second one and even came close before the Chinese sealed it 21-18.