Had Ajay Jayaram been waiting with bated breath to see P Kashyap take on China's Chen Jin, he would have received a shock of his life when the umpire announced that the former world champion had conceded his quarterfinal encounter due to a swollen wrist.
The announcement ended Jayaram's dream of qualifying for the London Olympics, as Kashyap booked his berth for the quadrennial event. Jayaram and Kashyap had been locked in a tussle for the lone singles berth for the last six months and the former went into the Yonex-Sunrise India Open ---the last Olympic qualifying event --- with his nose ahead.
However, Kashyap revived his campaign with a sensational victory over Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand in the pre-quarterfinals.And, with Jayaram out of the tournament, Kashyap needed to win his quarterfinal encounter to qualify for London against a man who had won the Asian crown last week.
Kashyap was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of hours before his match that Chen Jin had conceded the match. The world number four Chinese had been on the road for almost a month in order to seal the Olympic berth. But once Denmark's Peter Gade suffered a reversal against Wan Ho Shon of Korea in the quarterfinal, Chen had achieved his goal and felt no need to exert himself.
"I would've been happier had I qualified after winning the match," Kashyap said. "Nevertheless, I am happy, but I was not expecting the race between me and Jayaram to end in this manner," he added. Kashyap next plays Wan Ho Shon in the semifinal.
Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa lost to Japanese third seeds Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna 21-19, 13-21, 14-21 in women's doubles.
PV Sindhu, playing her first Super Series quarterfinal, fell short against her Chinese opponent, world No. 6 Yanjiao Jiang, losing 21-18, 12-21, 18-21, but the 16-year-old was upbeat about her performance.
"It was my first time and I did try my best. I won the first game and it gave me confidence," said Sindhu.