Chennai, May 23 (IANS) Top seed P. Gayatri Gopichand of Telangana began her quest for glory in the Microplex Global and Yonex Sunrise All-India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament in style, cruising to a 21-15, 21-15 victory on Thursday.
The 16-year-old daughter of India coach Pullela Gopichand showed deft touch and ample confidence as she quelled the challenge of Khushi Thakkar (Delhi), who made it to the main draw of the Under-19 Girls Singles by gaining a bye and winning her next two rounds.
The second seed Aakarshi Kashyap of Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Under-19 Boys Singles top seed Priyanshu Rajawat of Madhya Pradesh, however, pulled out of the competition, opening up the field for the lower seeds. In the Boys’ category, Manipur’s Maisnam Meiraba (No. 2) and Andhra Pradesh’s Sai Charan Koya (No. 3) will now play the role of favourites.
Most of the top seeds, meanwhile, scored comprehensive victories to enter the second round of the main draw.
Third seed Malvika Bansod of AAI and No. 7 Smit Toshniwal (Maharashtra) beat Ananya Praveen (Karnataka) 21-9, 21-8 and Siddhi Jadhav (Maharashtra) 21-11, 21-12 respectively.
Only one of them, No. 15 Medha Shashidharan (Karnataka) and No. 9 Drithi Yatheesh (9) suffered setbacks, going down to Khushi Gupta (Delhi) 19-21, 19-21 and Keyura Mopati 21-13, 21-10 in tight encounters.
No. 12 seed Aditi Bhatt of Uttarakhand beat Sreshta Reddy K. 21-8, 21-15 and No. 14 Nivetha M of Tamil Nadu beat Akanksha Matte 21-9, 21-14.