The former Commonwealth Games champion was tested by Hsu Jen Hao of Chinese Taipei but emerged victorious in the end.
Parupalli Kashyap made a winning start to his campaign after he managed to defeat Hsu Jen Hao in the Hong Kong World Tour Super 500 tournament’s qualifying round on Tuesday. It took a daunting 3-match set of 21-7 12-21 21-18 to overcome Hao’s challenge. The thrilling match lasted for over an hour.
The victory would be a big boost for Parupalli as he has been battling a score of injuries of late.
The Indian badminton star would next face a formidable opposition in Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, who is seeded 7th, in the main draw.
Kashyap, who is a former world no 6, has been struggling to keep his fitness in control especially after he suffered from a heartbreaking knee injury that spoilt his Rio Olympic dreams.
In 2018, the Indian had made a good start, even clinching the Austrian challenge. However, injuries refused to desolate him and he had to again spend long stretches of time on the sidelines.
“It has been tough few years for me with injuries. This year I suffered a stress fracture in my right leg fibula bone after the Austrian Challenge which took me two months to recover. I missed almost four tournaments in this period,” he said.
Kashyap had recovered to participate in the Thailand Open. However, he again hurt his back that took almost three months to fully recover.
“I had entered Thailand Open, Singapore Open and Russia tournaments in May. I had a couple of good matches in Thailand and the very next week in Singapore had a jerk in my back which turned out to be an annular tear. As a result, I had to concede my matches in Singapore and Russia,” Kashyap said.
“After another 8 weeks of rest and rehab and another 3 weeks of training, I finally could play the European circuit events. I lost in the quarterfinals of Dutch Open and another quarterfinal finish at SaarLorLux Open.”
“These results although not satisfying, I am just happy to be back on the circuit and playing some tournaments. Now the aim is to stay fit and get higher in ranking gradually,” he later added.
Satwiksairaj and Ashwini too win in their qualifying matches
India’s mixed doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa too won their opening match after recovering from a mid-game slump. Like Kashyap, they too defeated too defeated Chinese Taipei nationals Wang Chi-Lin and Lee Chia Hsin in sets of 21-16 19-21 21-14.
The pair will now have to face another Taiwanese challenge in the form of Lee Yang and Hsu Ya Ching.