Copenhagen: Recently crowned Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap could not continue his winning run at the World Badminton Championships as he was tamed by German Dieter Domke in the opening round at the 9,200-seater Ballerup Super Arena in Coppenhagen on Monday.
India's top mixed doubles combine Ashwini Ponnappa and Tarun Kona also had to face a first round exit but the pairs of Akshay Dewalkar-Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Arun Vishnu-Aparna Balan notched up wins in their respective doubles categories.
Though Kashyap had a strong 5-1 record against Domke, the 27-year-old tall German has been in top form of late and had also drubbed the Hyderabadi the last time they played at the Thomas Cup in May in New Delhi.
Domke registered his second triumph on the trot in seven meetings over World No.27 Kashyap as he clinched the closely fought men's singles tie 26-24, 13-21, 21-18 in a marathon match which lasted an hour and eight minutes.
After sharing two tough games, it was all to fight for in the decider where Domke led throughout until the Indian levelled it twice at 13-all and 17-all. However, the German made sure that four of the last five points were won by him to enter the second round and send his Indian opponent packing.
Earlier, Tarun and Ashwini had lost the first game 16-21 to Danish World No.16 pair Anders Kristiansen and Julie Houmann. The World No.39 Indian combine gave a tough fight in the second game but eventually went down 25-27 in a tight match which lasted 46 minutes.
However, in some good news for Ashwini, she, along with her women's doubles partner Jwala Gutta, got a walkover in their opener to enter the second round as England's Heather Olver and Kate Robertshaw withdrew from the tournament.
They have a tough second round ahead when they take on Chinese fifth seeds Qing Tian and Yunlei Zhao, who have an unbeaten 6-0 record against Jwala and Ashwini.
Later, Dewalkar and Chopra came out on top in a topsy-turvy men's doubles opener to proceed to the second round.
It was a neck-and-neck encounter in the first game against Hong Kong pair Yun Lung Chan and Chun Hei Lee but Dewalkar and Chopra did well to stick it out and take home the first game 21-19.
The second game was also pretty close at the start but as it progressed, the World No.43 combine from Hong Kong kept extending their lead to win it 21-16 and level the match.
Yun and Chun maintained most of the lead till 16-14 in the decider but the World No.39 Indians came out with a brilliant spurt to scalp the next six points and have four matchpoints at hand. However, Dewalkar and Chopra wasted all four of them and the match was level once more at 20-all.
The Indian pair managed to keep its nerves and easily took the next two points to win the 54-minute encounter and will next take on South Korean fifth seeds Ki Jung Kim and Sa Rang Kim.
Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan had a rather easy outing as they won their mixed doubles opener against Brazilians Hugo Arthuso and Fabiana Silva 21-12, 21-14 in only 23 minutes. However, they have a tough second round against German sixth seeds Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels.