Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day One: Big upsets in the Boys'

It was a hectic day in Chennai, with two rounds of play in both draws. At the end 15 of the top 16 seeds were left standing in the girls' draw, but the boys' draw was missing its 3rd and 7th seeds ...

Top two safely through

The local press was out in force for the first appearance of top seed Dipika Pallikal, who eased past the USA's Natasha Kingshott in straight games. Unfortunately I missed the whole thing, but there will be lots in the papers tomorrow, so we'll get some clippings.

Also out in force was the newly-arrived England Team (see morning report below), supporting Nathan Lake as he took on defending champion Mohamed El Shorbagy. Lake took a game off the world #17, but Shorbagy asserted to take the last two games and keep his title bid on course.

Egyptians girls out in force

The girls' second round saw the strong Egyptian contingent enter the fray, and seven of them went through to the last 32 including second and fifth seeds Heba and Nouran El Torky.

Performance of the day was from Yathreb Adel, who overcame 9th seed Tong Tsz-Wing 13-11 in the fifth in the longest match of the day.

Pakistanis progress

The biggest upsets were reserved for the boys event though, as Nosherwan Khan and Nasir Iqbal both took out top eight seeds.

Nosherwan took a tight first game against third seed Karim Abdel Gawad, but lost the second after taking an injury break. He reasserted though to take the next two for a stunning upset, 15/13, 11/2, 11/7, 11/5.

"I lost to him in the BJO semi-finals, I was ahead in all the games but lost due to mistakes. So I knew I had to play differently today, I was controlled but still played aggressively and it worked well," he said.

"The injury affected me in the second game, but I couldn't feel it in the third and fourth games. My coach prepared me really well for this match, I want to thank him for that, I'm really happy with this win and Insha'allah I'll continue to do well in this tournament."

And as often happens, you wait all day for a significant upset and two come along at once - Nasir Iqbal, one of youngest players in the draw at just 15, taking out Finland's seventh seed Henrik Mustonen in five - 11/9, 11/9, 11/13, 7/11, 11/3 - to make it a great day for Pakistan.

In the final match of the day second seed Ivan Yuen (it really was him in Cairo for the ATCO Junior, even though he was down as Yven Youri there) beat Kuwait's Nasser Al-Rashid in straight games, although the Malaysian needed many extra points to take the second, 21-19.

Tomorrow brings two more rounds for the girls, and one for the boys, at the end of which we'll be down to the quarter-finalists. With 15 of the girls top 16 still in contention, and the boys looking for more upsets, it should be some day ...

1 comment:

  1. For your kind info, local press is not out for Dipika or the likes