Reigning world junior champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn began his campaign at the Tata Open India International Challenge 2018 with a couple of wins to enter the quarter-finals on Thursday.
The 17-year-old Thai first beat the higher-ranked Kevin Arokia Walter 21-10, 21-11 and then followed it up with another commanding 21-10, 21-12 win over Thai qualifier Ruttanapak Oupthong. This is the eighth match win in a row for the young Bangkok-born shuttler, who successfully defended his World Junior Championships crown in Canada just a few days ago.
Vitidsarn is looking for his first title in the senior circuit. Up next for him is Malaysia’s Teck Zhi Soo, who stunned the top seed Mithun Manjunath 19-21, 21-9, 21-16 in the first round.
Soo’s compatriot Goh Giap Chin also caused an upset at the Tata Open on Thursday. Chin battled back from a game down to knock out the seventh seed Abhishek Yeligar 16-21, 21-19, 21-8.
World No. 192 Kantawat Leelavechabutr held his nerves for a narrow 21-15, 15-21, 21-19 win over the fifth seed Siddharth Pratap Singh on an upset-filled day at this International Challenge tournament.
Eight seed Adulrach Namkul of Thailand, however, encountered no such problem and made it easily to the last eight, where he will take on Malaysian Jia Wei Tan.
Meanwhile, on the women’s side, fourth seed Chananchida Jucharoen of Thailand was the only non-Indian shuttler to advance to the last-eight stage.
Jucharoen needed three games to prevail over India’s Smit Toshniwal 18-21, 21-9, 21-9 in the opener. In the second round, she put on a much-improved display and beat Shikha Gautam 21-18, 21-17.
First round action also got completed in the mixed doubles section of the Tata Open on Thursday. Second seeds Nipitphon Phuangphuapet and Savitree Amitrapai of Thailand outplayed local hope Shivam Sharma and Poorvisha S Ram 21-16, 21-8 to make it through to the last-eight stage.
Also advancing to the quarter-finals were the Singapore pair of Hee Yong Kai Terry and Putri Sari Dewi Citra and the Thai qualifying duo of Supak Jomkoh and Supissara Paewsampran.