Newly-crowned national champion Sourabh Verma, along with Parupalli Kashyap and Ajay Jayaram advanced to the men’s singles second round after winning their respective matches at the USD 150,000 Spain Masters in Barcelona on Wednesday.
Sourabh, who had clinched his third Senior National title in Guwahati last week, beat Spain’s Lus Enrique Penalver 21-15 21-16 in 33 minutes. He will clash with either Brazil’s Ygor Coelho or Ren Pengbo of China, who had defeated Lakshya Sen 21-8 21-12 on Tuesday.
Former Commonwealth Games champion Kashyap, who had reached the semifinals at Guwahati last week, defeated Wong Wing Ki Vincent of Hong Kong 27-25 21-18 in a 53-minute battle, while Ajay eked out a 18-21 21-16 21-17 victory over Malaysia’s Cheam June Wei in another match.
Ajay will face former world NO 1 and top seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, while Kashyap will Indoneisa’s Kean Yew Loh who defeated fifth seed Dane Jan O Jorgensen of the BWF World Tour Super 300 event.
Mugdha Agrey also made a positive start to her campaign, notching up a 21-19 21-16 win over Netherlands’ Soraya De Visch Eijbergen to enter the second round.
In men’s doubles, rising pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Dhruv Kapila, who had reached the semifinals at Guwahati, defeated France’s Christo Popov and Toma Junior Popov 21-19 21-19 to set up a clash with London Olympic silver medallists and third seeded Danish pair of Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen.
Among others, Senior National finalists Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok went down 14-21 15-21 to Korean eighth seeds Kim Won Ho and Seo Seung Jae in men’s doubles.
The women’s doubles pair of Pooja Dandu and Sanjana Santosh fought hard before losing 15-21 21-15 16-21 to Cao Tong Wei and Yu Xiaohan of China.