Three years ago, Chetan Anand was the darling of the crowd as he annexed the men's singles crown in the Syed Modi tourney.
Since then, things have changed. The event got an international status, and top shuttlers of the world, including former Olympic and world champion Taufik Hidayat and young Indian shuttler Sourabh Verma emerged as the show stealers with their terrific showing in the ensuing years.
A crowd did gather to watch Chetan, a former national champion, as he practiced on centre court of the BBD UP Badminton Academy on Monday, the eve of the Syed Modi International India Grand Prix Gold.
But the focus was on RMV Gurusaidutt and PC Thulasi, who were crowned the men's and women's singles champions, respectively, at the $15,000 Tata Open India International Challenge in Mumbai on Sunday.
"That's a good win for me," said Gurusaidutt. He had defeated compatriot B Sai Praneeth in straight games last evening.
Thulasi, who beat Febby Angguni of Indonesia also in straight games, sounded excited over her prospects here. "It's going to be a fresh start. I have been in good form and hope to continue with it," she said.
The real action in the six-day event, which offers $120,000 (R65 lakh) as prize money, will begin on Wednesday when the seeded players, including world No 3 Saina Nehwal will be in action.
Men's singles: 1-Taufik Hidayat (Ina), 2-P Kashyap (Ind), 3-Tommy Sugiarto (Ina), 4-Ajay Jayaram (Ind), 5-Alamsyah Yunus (Ina), 6-Sourabh Verma (Ind),
Women's singles: 1-Saina Nehwal (Ind), 2-PV Sindhu (Ind), 3-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha), 4-Nichaon Jindapon (Ina), 5-Aprilla Yuswandari (Ina), 6-Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn), 7-Lindaweni Fanetri (Ina), 8-Hera Desi (Ina).