Tournament top seeds Lakshya Sen and Aakarshi Kashyap triumphed in their respective men’s and women’s singles matches during the second round of the Yonex-Sunrise 85th Senior National Badminton Championships at R. G. Baruah Sports Complex in Guwahati on Thursday.
The prestigious national championships, organized by the Badminton Association of India (BAI) in Assam after four years, are being held from December 20-24.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sen swiftly defeated Sidarth T with scores of 21-8, 21-5. Initially cautious in the first game, the players fought for each point until they reached a tie at 5-5. Sen then accelerated to secure the first game at 21-8. Reading his opponent well, Sen dominated the second game with a 21-5 victory, completing the rout in just 25 minutes.
BWF 2023 World Junior Championships bronze medallist Ayush Shetty faced a tough challenge from Neer Nehwal but emerged victorious with a 23-25, 21-18, 21-12 scoreline. He is set to take on seventh-seeded Alap Mishra in the next round.
In the women’s singles category, Aakarshi Kashyap, the 22-year-old tournament top seed, encountered a tough match against Rituparna Das. Ranked 40th globally, Kashyap overcame a stiff challenge in the first game before closing the match with a 21-18, 21-11 scoreline in 32 minutes. She is scheduled to play Aruna Prabhudesai in a fourth-round encounter.
Second-seeded Ashmita Chaliha, a home favorite in the women’s singles, defeated her state-mate Suzen Burhagohain with a score of 21-13, 21-10 in the second round. Chaliha, ranked 12th by BAI, is set to face Delhi’s Rishika Nandi in the fourth round.
Another Assamese player, Isharani Baruah, fought back from a game down to defeat Shriyanshi Pardeshi of the Railways. Baruah, ranked 6th by BAI, lost the first game 20-22 but rallied to win the next two games 21-10, 22-20, advancing to the third round.
Unnati Hooda, the 2023 Abu Dhabi Masters champion, triumphed over Manisha Rani Tirkey of Jharkhand with a 21-11, 21-17 victory, setting up a third-round clash with Tanvi Sharma. Sharma, the silver medallist in Badminton Asia’s U17 and U15 Junior Championships in 2023, faced a tough match against Shreya Lele, ultimately securing victory with scores of 21-18, 22-24, 21-13 in a 56-minute battle.
Defending champion and former Junior World No. 1 Anupama Upadhyaya defeated Taneesha Singh with scores of 21-5, 21-12, maintaining her quest to regain the crown.
In the mixed doubles, the pair of Dhruv Kapila and Tanisha Crasto cruised to a 21-5, 21-14 win over Abdul Rahman Syed and Mamaikya Lanka. The duo is set to face Chayanit Joshi and Kavya Gupta in the pre-quarter-finals.