World No.10 Duncan Stahl was eliminated on the opening day of the CHA Indian Open, with World D Champion Abhinava Kashyap Akshinthala beating him in the first round.
There were wins for CHA Thailand Open finalists Piers Boden and Sidharth Nandal, who both advanced to the semi-finals and could meet in the finals for a second consecutive week.
The slightly different scheduling at this tournament means that the singles and doubles categories will be mixed in amongst each other across the three days.
Men’s A Singles: Akshinthala Provides Shock of the Year So Far
When you pitch the World No.402 against the World No.10 in any sport, there is a clear favourite. Duncan Stahl was the clear favourite heading into his match against Abhinava Kashyap Akshinthala. Things did not go to script.
After making his debut at the World Singles Championship last year and winning the D grade, Akshinthala remains unbeaten in his racketlon career. The Indian star comprehensively defeated Stahl in the end in Udaipur, winning 21-9, 21-5, 10-21, 5-0 to move into the semi-finals in simply stunning fashion. A huge statement win for the World D Champion, who is carving quite a racketlon resume already.
Akshinthala will take on last week’s CHA Thailand Open champion Piers Boden in the semi-finals. Boden battled through against Leigh Sands in a repeat of last week’s semi-finals. Again, it was fairly comfortable for Boden, who needed 7 in tennis and got it with a 7-9 scoreline.
The other semi-final is an all-Indian affair. Amarendu Srivastava received a walkover while Sidharth Nandal took down Kevin Ho Ching Ng for the second week in a row. In identical fashion to Boden, Nandal needed 7 in tennis and got it with a 7-9 scoreline.
Could we have a second Boden versus Nandal final in the space of a week? There is certainly a possibility. How will Akshinthala follow up his win over Stahl? There are plenty of intriguing questions in this category heading into the weekend.
Best of the Rest from CHA Indian Open
In the Women’s A, a victory for Sushmita Panigrahi over Bhargavi Mitra gave her a headstart. A win over Pooja Shah on Saturday will seal the Women’s A Singles title for her.
Kevin Ho Ching Ng and Leigh Sands are the front-runners in the Men’s Elite Doubles four-pair box league after beating British pair Piers Boden and Duncan Stahl. Akshinthala and Nandal also remain unbeaten after day one’s action.
Three of the four Men’s B Singles semi-finalists are known. Top seed Frank Kleiber is into this round along with India’s Gourav Rakshit and Hong Kong’s Hei Nam Lee. Lee will face the winner of Sanjeev Kumar and Yin Kiu Kevin Leung, who beat the No.2 seed Prashant Sen on a gumi-arm.
Three of the four Men’s B Doubles semi-finalists are also known. Aakash Ashutosh Pednekar and Prashant Sen face Biswajit Pranigrahi and Gourav Rakshit for a place in the final. No.2 seeds Kedar Nadgonde and Siddharth Nivsarkar will face the winner of Ranjit Pande and Ashutosh Pednekar against Mahesh Chhabria and Sanjeev Kumar.
Finally, former World +45 Champion Ashutosh Avinash Pednekar is into the semi-finals of the Seniors +40 Singles. He’ll face Mahesh Chhabria with the other semi-final still to be decided.
The full results from day one of the CHA Indian Open can be seen here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Frank Kleiber