Paris :Top Indian shuttler Chetan Anand crashed out of the World Badminton Championships with a disappointing straight-game defeat against a lowly-ranked opponent in the men's singles first round on Tuesday.
Chetan, the highest ranked Indian in the fray and seeded 14th in the prestigious event, lost 14-21 18-21 to Singapore's Ong Zhao Ashton Chen who is placed 107th in world rankings.
The world number 15 Indian, who recovered from a knee injury recently, failed to find any rhythm and lost the tie without much fight in 37 minutes.
With Chetan's early exit from the tournament on Tuesday, Indian challenge in men's singles ended as Parupalli Kashyap had also crashed out in the first round last night.
Chetan trailed from the start but could narrow down the gap at 5-7 only to fall behind again.
Drop shots, net play and trying to pin Chen to the back courts didn't work for Chetan as the Singaporean had all the answers. Time and again, Chen's weapon the overhead smash from the back court worked to perfection.
Chetan changed shirt from an all-white to a yellow-red combination in the second game and it seemed it brought some luck as the Indian took the first point and then led 2-1.
Chen, however, came back to take a 6-3 lead with a couple of powerful mid court smashes.
Chetan fought back and for the first time in the tie he led 9-8 with some deft drop shots and net play which brought applause from the crowd.
The lead exchanged hands quite a few times before Chetan committed quite a few unforced errors to hand a 17-12 lead to his opponent.
Chetan did pull back to 14-18 but it was not his day on Tuesday and Chen raced to 20-18 before shutting the door on the Indian with a drop shot.
The disappointment was all evident when after the tie, Chetan said, "It is a big blow as I had trained keeping the World Championships in focus."
"But today, nothing seemed to work and I just failed to come to grips with my game and also played into my opponents hands," he added.
Chetan said he at times played to the strength of his opponent by giving him chance to play his overhead smashes from the back court.
"I think that was a mistake. He played the overhead smash well and you also have to give him credit that he brought himself into positions where he forced me to play certain shots," said the Hyderabadi.
"I think I will take a break and will see how I go about planning for the next few months," he added.
Unlike Chetan, Kashyap had the luxury to win the first game but he squandered it to lose 21-14, 14-21, 16-21 to Thailand's Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in a 56-minute first round match.
Kashyap was almost flawless in the first game as he pinned the Thai to the back court and with some delectable drop shots won important points.
After winning the first game 21-14, Kashyap seemed well on course of advancing to the second round. But Saensomboonsuk had other pans as he came back strongly to shatter the hopes of the Indian.
Saensomboonsuk forced Kashyap on the back hand in the second game to race to a 8-3 lead and finally win the game 21-14 to tie the scores at 1-1.
In the decider, Kashyap's defensive errors continued as the Thai took a 19-15 lead. In the end, despite Kashyap prolonging the rallies, Saensomboonsuk won the third game 21-16 to cruise into the second round.
"I think I was too defensive," said a crestfallen Kashyap.
"But it's an important learning experience for me. I have no doubt that I was the better player with the better shots but he forced me to play to his style and I just couldn't adapt," he said.
Kashyap also felt that he would need to play more openly.
"I need to relax in a game. I am too stressed out when the match is not going my way. I hope this goes a long way in teaching me to play to my strength," the Indian said.