Men's and mixed doubles pairs win, Mutatkar loses in Paris

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Aditi Mutatkar became a first round casualty but Indian men's and mixed doubles pairs kept the tri-colour fluttering as India wrapped up a mixed day at the Worl

Updated: August 23, 2010 16:35 IST
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Paris :

Aditi Mutatkar became a first round casualty but Indian men's and mixed doubles pairs kept the tri-colour fluttering as India wrapped up a mixed day at the World Badminton Championships here on Monday.

Ninth seeds mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V Diju struggled past English combo of Chris Adcock and Gabriella White 21-6, 14-21, 21-8 to enter the second round.

In men's doubles category, 15th seeded pair of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas thrashed Nigerian pair of Ola Fagbemi and Jinkan Ifraimu 21-18, 21-10 to advance to the next round.

However, it was end of road for Mutatkar in the women's singles after she lost 12-21 16-21 to 10th seed Eriko Hirose of Japan in a 32-minute match.

"Hirose was too strong today. I tried mixing up my shots in the second game but it just wasn't my day," Mutatkar said after the match.

Jwala-Diju did not break a sweat and raced away with the first game 21-6 after beating their rivals at the net with some deft shots. The Indians pinned the English duo to the corners and forced them to commit errors.

However, in the second game, the tables turned as Adcock and White dominated the play with the Indian pair losing points in unforced errors.

Time and again, shots went into the net and seemingly easy returns sailed over the lines as suddenly the match that was going India's way was tied 1-1 as the English pair won the second game 21-14.

Jwala-Diju's net play and back court game was more controlled in the decider as the Indians refused to give any chances and played a controlled game at the net.

Their dribbles and a few net placements got the sizeable French crowd applauding for them as Jwala and Diju raced away to a 5-2 lead, before sealing the decider 21-8.

"I really don't think it was nerves," said Jwala.

"We were a little loose in the second game, kind of took things for granted and they exploited us. But we got our game back in time to win the match," she added.

Diju was happy that they had crossed the first hurdle.

"Being seeded is nothing new for us. But, yes, we did have a lot of unforced errors and didn't steady ourselves. Gopi sir (Pullela Gopichand) told us the mistakes and we picked up from there to win the match," he said.

Kumar and Thomas also overcame some crucial moments before crossing the line. The Indians were leading 11-6 in the first game but they let the Nigerians come in with some aggressive play at the net.

Fagbemi especially smashed his way to rattle the Indians a bit before the Kumar-Thomas wrapped up the first game 21-18.

Kumar and Thomas raced to a 6-0 lead in the second game which then became 11-5. Thomas was the dominant partner today as he played superbly from the back court and picked up a few neat drops at the net.

Though the Nigerians tried their best to fight back, the Indians thwarted their attempts as Thomas left the crowds on their feet after a bout of electrifying play, smashing nine times with Fagbemi returning superbly.

However, Indian had the last laugh as Fagbemi put one into the net to bring joy to the Indian camp.

"First round matches are always difficult," said Thomas.

"It's a world championship and getting into a rhythm was the difficult part. Yes, the Nigerians played well but we knew we would take it in straight games," he added.

Kumar said that expectations were high as badminton was doing well and fans expect them to win.

"It's good that they expect as it will help us perform well at the World Championships," he said.

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