Saina, Praneeth win at Thailand Open

Bangkok, May 31 (PTI) Title-contenders Saina Nehwal and B Sai Praneeth advanced to prequarterfinals of the Thailand Open after notching up straight-game wins in the women’s and men’s singles competition respectively, here today.

Second seeded Saina brushed aside Slovakia’s Martina Repiska 21-5 21-10 in the opening round to set up a clash with Malaysia’s Ying Ying Lee in the next round.

Singapore Open champion Praneeth defeated Malaysia’s R Satheishtharan 21-15 21-13 in men’s singles. He will next face either Indonesia’s Panji Ahmad Maulana or ninth seeded Malaysian Iskandar Zulkarnain.

National champion Sourabh Verma and Young woman shuttler Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka also reached the prequarters.

Sourabh, seeded 12th, survived a challenge from compatriot Anand Pawar 21-17 20-22 21-14 in men’s singles event, while Sai Uttejitha Rao dished out a gallant fight to see off Indonesia’s Jesica Muljati 13-21 24-22 27-25 in women’s singles that lasted an hour and 16 minutes.

However, it turned out to be a dismal day for other Indians with P Kashyap, Shreyansh Jaiswal and Subhankar Dey bowing out of the men’s singles competition, while Rituparna Das, Reshma Karthik, Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli, Sali Rane and Ruthvika Shivani Gadde faltered in the opening round of women’s singles.

Kashyap, who had defeated Slovekia’s Milan Dratva 21-6 21-14 in his opening match that started past midnight, went down 14-21 18-21 to second seeded Marc Zwiebler of Germany in the second round match, which took place in less than 12 hours of his first-round clash.

Shreyansh lost 9-21 18-21 to local shuttler Suppanyu Avihingsanon, while Malaysian Daren Liew ended Subhankar’s campaign with a 10-21 21-15 21-19 win.

In women’s singles, National champion Rituparna Das lost 19-21 18-21 to top seed Ratchanok Intanon, while Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli was disposed off 14-21 12-21 by Ruselli Hartawan of Indonesia and Yen Mei Ho of Malaysia staved off a challenge from Saili Rane 19-21 21-13 21-12.

While Reshma lost 14-21 12-21 to Indonesia’s Susanto Yulia Yosephin, Ruthvika went down 18-21 11-21 to another Indonesian player Sri Fatmawati.

Women’s doubles pair of Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram also crashed out after losing 10-21 18-21 to Indonesian combo of Tania Oktaviani Kusumah and Nisak Puji Lestari.

Prajakta Sawant and her Malaysian partner Yogendran Khrishnan lost 13-21 12-21 to local combo of Chaloempon Charoenkitamorn and Chasinee Korepap in mixed doubles.

In men’s doubles, Arjun M R and Ramchandran Shlok’s spirited effort ended in a 21-15 12-21 13-21 loss to local shuttlers Tinn Isriyanet and Kittisak Namdash.

Francis Alwin and Tarun Kona also lost 9-21 18-21 to Singapore combo of Yong Kai Terry Hee and Kean Hean Loh.

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