The 2015 BWF world championship got off to a grand start in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on August 10, 2015. In the first session’s play on the opening day, Taiwan’s world no.6 and also the 6th seed in the tournament Chou Tien Chen was upstaged by Malaysia’s Zulfadli Zulkiffli. Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk caused another upset by ousting England’s 16th seed Rajiv Ouseph and Estonian Raul Must, the Russia Open runner-up defeated Austria’s Luka Wraber after a marathon second game. It turned out to be a mixed day for Indian stars. Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy won their first round men’s singles matches; women’s doubles pair of Pradnya Gadre/Sikki Reddy and men’s doubles combo of Prannav Jerry Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar also progressed to the second round. But in the mixed doubles category, Arun Vishnu/Aparna Balan lost to Russians Evgenij Dremin/Evgenia Dimova and Tarun Kona/Sikki Reddy also lost their first round match to Taiwan’s Liao Min Chun/Chen Hsiao Huan. In an emotional women’s singles first round match, Bulgaria’s Linda Zetchiri broke down after defeating Germany’s Karin Schnaase. It transpired that Zetchiri was emotionally taken over by the fond remembrance of her grandfather, who died two months ago.
World Championships is an event, where the stars do their best to elicit their top performances by remaining focused. The first session on day one saw a major upset in Men’s Singles. Malaysia’s Zulfadli Zulkiffli stunned no.6 seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei. The Malaysian was aggressive from the start as he bludgeoned the Taiwanese 21-5 in the first game. But Chou bounced back in the second and led until Zulkiffli pushed ahead late in the game. However, Chou caught up and also had a match point at 20-19. However, the tenacious Malaysian fought to level scores at 20-20 and then produced an audacious flick-serve, which caught Chou off-guard and Zulkiffli ran away with a 21-5, 22-20 win. In another upset, Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk outlasted England’s 16th seed Rajiv Ouseph 21-16, 21-12. Estonia’s Raul Must, who displayed a sublime form in the recently concluded Russia Open, went to the second round at the expense of Austria’s Luka Wraber, whom he defeated 21-10, 27-25. Two players engaged themselves in the marathon second game that looked like going to eternity.
For India it was a satisfactory first day in the 2015 BWF World Championships despite the loss of two mixed doubles matches. In men’s singles, no.10 seed Parupalli Kashyap easily defeated Netherlands’ Erik Meijs 21-17, 21-10 and HS Prannoy beat Brazil’s Alex Yuwan Tjong 21-12, 21-16. India’s women’s doubles team of Pradnya Gadre/Sikki Reddy also defeated Germany’s Isabel Herttrich/Birgit Michel 16-21, 21-15, 21-14 and in men’s doubles first round, Prannav Jerry Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar overcame a stiff challenge from Russia’s Nikita Khakimov/Vasily Kuznetsov before coming through with a 17-21, 21-11, 21-11 victory. However it was bad news for India in the mixed doubles as the combo of Arun Vishnu/Aparna Balan lost to Russia’s Evgenij Dremin/Evgenia Dimova 18-21, 21-10, 22-24 and Tarun Kona/Sikki Reddy lost to Taiwan’s Liao Min Chun/Chen Hsiao Huan 13-21, 17-21.
In an emotional first round women’s singles match, Bulgarian Linda Zetchiri ranked 34 in the world, burst into unstoppable sobs after beating the Germany’s world no.25 Karin Schaase 21-18 11-21 21-18. Zetchiri recovered from 15-17 deficit in the third game and progressed to the second round. The emotional burden of her grandfather’s recent death was too much for the Bulgarian, who wept uncontrollably after the match. She told the media that her grandfather was too close to her and she couldn’t control the emotional outburst. The Bulgarian next faces Korea’s no.10 seed Bae Yeon Ju.
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