Tien Minh Nguyen's coach could not stop laughing when P Kashyap sent the shuttle over the baseline when he had the entire court to find a winner. The reaction may seem scornful but she was laughing out of relief.
The Vietnamese seventh seed had saved four match points in the second-round encounter of the World Badminton Championship and it looked like his effort was going in vain as Kashyap controlled the rally throughout, only to miss a regulation winner from the top of the net.
The mistake broke his confidence and he lost the next two points meekly to go down 24-22, 17-21, 22-20 in an 81-minute marathon on an otherwise fruitful day for Indian shuttlers.
Title contender Saina Nehwal opened her campaign with a 21-10, 21-7 thrashing of Ireland's Chloe Magee in the singles second round, while Mumbai boy Ajay Jayaram continued his march with a 21-19, 21-17 victory over Vladimir Ivanov of Russia. When Kashyap took a 20-15 lead in the decider, it looked like India was all set to maintain its cent per cent win record. But surprisingly, the world number 28 went into defensive mode and made uncharacteristic mistakes to allow Nguyen stage a comeback.
Saina, Ajay make it to next round
Sixth seed Saina hardly broke a sweat in packing off Magee. She was quick off the block and needed no time to adjust to the court conditions. She now faces 14th seed Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong in the third round on Thursday. Ajay, who had upset 15th seed Kenichi Tago on Monday, kept his date with defending champion and sixth seed Chen Jin of China with another clinical performance.
Jwala-Ashwini upset second seeds
Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa registered the biggest upset of their career when they beat second seeds Wen Hsing Cheng and Yu Chin Chien of Chinese Taipei in straight sets to sail into the third round of women's doubles.
Jwala and Ashwini adopted an all-attack strategy against the world number three in theur 21-18, 21-18 victory.
“We just hit hard and everything worked in our favour today. We were targetting just one player in every rally and they struggled,” said an ecstatic Jwala.
The unseeded pair will now face 11th seed Lok Yan Poon and Ying Suet Tse of Hong Kong for a berth in the quarterfinals.
Jwala and V Diju also won their mixed doubles match, beating Jien Guo Ong and Sook Chin Chong of Malaysia 21-11, 21-15 in mixed doubles.