India's two top medal hopefuls entered the men's singles semifinals at the Commonwealth Games Monday but the country's mixed doubles team and leading women's singles player crashed out in the quarterfinals against Malaysians. Kashyap Parupalli defeated Malaysia's Hashim Muhammad Hafiz 19-21, 21-19, 21-16 while Chetan Anand Buradagunta beat Carl Baxter of England 21-17, 21-9.
Parupalli will play in Tuesday's semifinal against Rajiv Ouseph of England. Buradagunta will likely take on world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, who was playing Chen Yong Zhao of Singapore in another quarterfinal match later Monday.
"The crowd support made him make a lot of mistakes. I started off well which put him under a lot of pressure. I slowed him down. That was the plan," Buradagunta said.
He said the partisan crowd support will also put Lee under pressure. The two last played at the All England Open, which Lee won.
While the third-seeded Buradagunta's victory was expected, Parupalli struggled to overcome his own fears to beat Hashim. He acknowledged he has a longstanding problem of cracking after losing the first game.
"This is what happens to me every time I lose the first game. I end up losing the match. I told myself I am not going to go down this time," he said.
The fourth-seeded Hashim relied on his superb strokes, which sent Parupallli scurrying across the court constantly. But the Indian showed remarkable retrieving skills, relying on Hashim's mistakes to win points.
"I made a lot of mistakes. That made him comfortable. This is quite disappointing. As you can see I have no medals," said Hashim, the 2003 All England Open champion.
India's women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Aparna Machimanda defeated England's Mariana Agathangelou and Heather Olver 21-9, 21-14 to reach the semifinals.
However, Gutta and her partner, Diju Valia Veetil, lost in the mixed doubles to the Malaysian pair of Chin Ee Hui and Koo Kien Keat.
Another Indian, Aditi Mutatkar, also crashed out of the tournament, losing the women's singles Wong Mew Choo. The other women's singles players who have already made it to the semifinals are Liz Cann of England, Susan Egelstaff of Scotland. The fourth player in the women's semifinals will be decided later Monday when top-seeded Saina Nehwal of India takes on Anna Rice of Canada.