Syed Modi International: COVID-19 wreaks havoc as more players withdraw from event

After a slew of withdrawals reduced the men's singles draw to just three seeded players, the Verma brothers, Sameer and Saurabh, and Prannoy.

HS Prannoy in a file photo. (Image: Twitter)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Jan 19, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Three more players tested positive for COVID-19 on the opening day of the USD 150,000 Syed Modi India International badminton event here on Tuesday, including Ashmita Chaliha, Rahul Yadav, and doubles specialist Shruti Mishra. After a slew of withdrawals reduced the men’s singles draw to just three seeded players, the Verma brothers — Sameer and Saurabh — left HS Prannoy as the sole survivor midway through the first round.

Prannoy, the fifth seed, overcame Danylo Bosniuk of Ukraine 21-14, 21-18 in 36 minutes, but the Verma brothers were not so fortunate. Sameer, the fourth seed, was down 2-7 to Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen when he retired because to sheen discomfort. Saurabh, his older brother, was seeded seven and lost to Ade Resky Dwicahyo of Azerbaijan.

Saurabh had a one-game lead and was up 15-11 in the second when Dwicahyo launched a spectacular comeback and won 15-21, 21-19, 21-18. Aakarshi Kashyap defeated Mugdha Agrey 21-13, 21-14 in the women’s singles. According to an official, many wait-listed players made the draw but were unable to arrive in time due to large-scale last-minute withdrawals. As a result, a few first-round matches were rearranged to accommodate these players across sections.

HS Prannoy through

After a straight-game triumph over Ukraine’s Danylo Bosniuk on Tuesday, India’s HS Prannoy advanced to the second round of the Syed Modi International badminton tournament’s men’s singles competition. In his first match, the fifth seeded India beat Bosniuk 21-14, 21-18 in in 36 minutes, completing a comeback. Prannoy, a former top-10 player who made a strong showing before losing in the quarterfinals of the India Open to 20-year-old Lakshya Sen last week, will face compatriot Priyanshu Rajawat, who received a first-round walkover from Rahul Yadav Chittaboina.

Read More – Syed Modi International: HS Prannoy breezes through to second round

However, fourth seed Sameer Verma’s tournament was ended as he retired hurt against Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen. Sameer was down 2-7 in the first game before deciding to withdraw owing to a calf muscle ailment he sustained in October of last year. Subhankar Dey also had to forfeit his match against compatriot Kartikey Gulshan Kumar due to injury in the first game, behind 2-9.

Ashmita Chaliha gave Malvika Bansod a first-round walkover, while Aakarshi Kashyap beat Mugdha Agrey 21-13, 21-14, and Anupama Upadhyaya breezed through Rituparna Das. PV Sindhu, the two-time Olympic medalist and top seed, will begin her campaign against compatriot Tanya Hemanth on Wednesday, while Saina Nehwal, the fourth seed, will put her fitness to the test against Czech Republic’s Tereza vábková in the opening round.