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Indian shuttlers advance in Swiss Open

Basel, March 14 (IANS)

P. Kashyap led a surge of winning Indian shuttlers at the Swiss Open on Wednesday.

It was a good day in office for Indian shuttlers here Wednesday as all participants progressed to their next rounds in their respective categories at the $125,000 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold.

Leading the Indian challenge was top seed Saina Nehwal, who overcame a stiff challenge from French Sashina Vignes Waran in her first round women’s singles tie in the tier three tournament.

The World No.3 won 13-21, 21-15, 21-12 in 47 minutes at St. Jakobshalle to take a 2-0 lead in career meetings over the World No.40 French girl.

Coincidentally, Saina last met Sashina in the same tournament two years back, that too in the first round.

The Hyderabadi will next play Petya Nedelcheva of Bulgaria, against whom Saina has a 5-2 record, winning the last five ties.

World No.9 Parupalli Kashyap advanced to the men’s singles third round as he overcame unseeded German Dieter Domke in 50 minutes at the tier three tournament.

The fifth seed won their fifth encounter 15-21, 22-20, 21-13 at St. Jakobshalle to go 5-0 up in career head-to-head.

The London Olympics quarterfinalist will take on Malaysian ninth seed Wei Feng Chong in the third round Thursday, against whom the Indian has never won in two meetings so far.

However, the fifth seed can take heart from the fact that the last meet was in 2010.

Kerala’s H.S. Prannoy, ranked 97 in the world, scripted the story of the day as he overcame seventh seed and former World No.4 Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand in 55 minutes to advance to the third round.

The 20-year-old won 18-21, 21-13, 21-12 in his first match against the World No.11.

“The win was okay. Actually Ponsana got tired trying too hard for points. I made it difficult for him which got him frustrated. That made it easy for me,” Prannoy told IANS from Basel.

He next faces Chinese Taipei’s 15th seed Tien Chen Chou for a place in the quarterfinals.

Sindhu’s women’s singles match lasted only two minutes as her South Korean opponent Ji Hyun Sung, seeded third, retired when the score was 7-2 in favour of the Indian.

With this, Sindhu now has a 2-0 head-to-head against the World No.5.

The 17-year-old Pullela Gopichand protege will next play Japanese qualifier Yui Hashimoto in their first ever encounter in the second round.

In men’s doubles action, Pranaav Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar overcame Thai duo Bodin Issara and Sudket Prapakamol 12-21, 21-17, 21-15 in 40 minutes to move into the second round.

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