In a tournament marked by withdrawals galore by Indian shuttlers, Anwesha Gowda is the solitary Indian to reach the round of 16 at Australian Open Super 300 in Sydney.
Gowda, the 14-year-old who is in the world’s top 10 in junior rankings, defeated Australia’s Pitchaya Elysia Viravong 21-9 21-11 in the round of 32 women’s singles match.
Elsewhere in women’s singles, Tanya Hemanth lost in two games against Malaysia’s Jin Wei Goh, 15-21, 16-21. The Malaysian, a former junior world champion who is on a comeback trail, is Gowda’s next opponent.
In men’s singles, Sameer Verma was listed as giving a walkover in his opening round match. He had been retired hurt mid-match recently in the opening round at Hylo Open in Germany.
In women’s doubles, the Panda sisters — Rutaparna and Swetaparna — lost against Chia Hsin Lee and Chun Hsun Teng of Chinese Taipei in straight games, 16-21, 14-21 in just 32 minutes.
The tournament, the last of the BWF World Tour events before the season finale, has witnessed a slew of withdrawals. From India’s point-of-view, Saina Nehwal, Lakshya Sen, Srikanth Kidambi and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty were among those who were entered to play the tournament but pulled out later.