Indian shuttler Kiran George maintained calm composure and pulled off two narrow wins in the men’s singles qualifying rounds to make it to the main draw of the Indonesia Masters Super 500 being held in Jakarta, Indodnesia.
World no. 36 Kiran defeated world no. 63 Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito 21-17, 12-21, 21-15 in the first round of the qualifiers and later survived another three-gamer against France’s Alex Lanier 12-21 21-18 22-20 in the second qualifying round match.
French world no. 45 Alex Lanier proved a far tougher hurdle for George to cross in the second round of the qualifiers. Lanier dominated George in the first game. The Indian shuttler hit back in the next round to force a decider. The third game saw a scramble to the finish line before George emerged triumphant after a 64-minute battle.
In the men’s singles main draw, Kiran George will join other Indians HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth and Priyanshu Rajawat.
Kiran will play France’s Junior Popov in the first round.
Prannoy is only seeded Indian player at no. 7 in the men’s singles draw of 32 as he will begin his campaign against Loh Kean Yew of Singapore, against whom the Indian has a 4-1 win-loss record.
Srikanth will be up against formidable Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia, while Lakshya will play against wily Chinese shuttler Weng Hong Yang in their respective first-round matches.
Youngster Priyanshu Rajawat will be high on confidence after savouring a good outing at the India Open where he beat Lakshya in the first round. He will play Rasmus Gemke of Denmark in the opening round.
The world No. 1 men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have withdrawn from the BWF Super 500 tournament.