BANGKOK, May 31
India's Kiran George scripted a stunning straight-game win over world number 9 Shi Yuqi of China to storm into the pre-quarterfinals of the Thailand Open Super 500 tournament here on Wednesday.
Ashmita Chaliha and Saina Nehwal also made winning starts to their campaign in women's singles.
On a day when Kidambi Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth made early exits, Odisha Open winner Kiran, a product of the Prakash Padukone academy, notched up a 21-18 22-20 win over third seed Shi Yu Qi, who is a 2018 world championships silver medallist.
Kiran will take on China's Weng Hong Yang next.
In other matches, Ashmita, who came through the qualifiers, beat compatriot Malvika Bansod 17-21 14-21, while London Olympics bronze medallist Saina defeated Canada's Wen Yu Zhang 21-13 21-7.
Ashmita will next face Rio Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin, seeded fourth, while Saina is likely to meet He Bing Jiao of China.
Srikanth, the 2021 world championships silver medallist, lost 8-21 21-16 14-21 against China's Weng Hong Yang, who had reached the final of Malaysia Masters last week.
Praneeth, who competed at the Tokyo Olympics, also found France's Christo Popov too hot to handle, going down 14-21 16-21 in another match.
Orleans Masters winner Priyanshu Rajawat too couldn't cross the opening hurdle, going down 19-21 10-21 to Malaysia's Ng Tze Yong.
Former world number 11 Sameer Verma, who had won the Slovenia Open recently, went down 15-21 15-21 to Denmark's Magnus Johannesen.
Among other Indians, PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will play later in the day.
The BWF World Tour is divided into six levels, namely World Tour Finals, four Super 1000, six Super 750, seven Super 500, and 11 Super 300 in order. One other category of tournament, the BWF Tour Super 100 level, also offers ranking points.
The Super 500 is a Grade 2 (level 4) event in the BWF tournament ranking system. PTI