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India Open 2019: Shuttlers Sameer, Prannoy advance to second round

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Indian shuttlers Sameer Verma and Prannoy HS got off to a blinding start as they advanced to the second round of the India Open in their respective men’s singles event at the KD Jadhav Hall on Wednesday.

World number 15 Sameer defeated Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke in straight games 21-18, 21-12.

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Gemke held well against Sameer as he led 14-12 but the Indian forced his opponent into an unforced service return to take the first set 21-18.

Sameer looked in an unstoppable form as he took a 7-4 lead in the second set and continued his dominant performance to seal the game 21-12.

Prannoy had to come from behind to beat Kantaphon of Thailand 14-21, 21-18, 21-14 in another men’s singles event. The Thailand player raced to an 11-4 lead and took the first set 21-14.

However, in a must-win second set, Prannoy and Kantaphon kept the set on a high note as the score was tied at 15-15. The Indian edged 18-17 and ultimately forced the game into the decider after ending the set in his favour 21-18.

The third set started in the same manner as the shuttlers levelled the scores at 7-7. Prannoy gifted three points to Kantaphon and trailed 7-10. Prannoy made a solid comeback and continued his performance to seal his Round of 16 by 21-14.

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After going down in the first set, Sai Praneeth bounced back to wrap up his campaign against compatriot Kartikey Gulshan Kumar 22-24, 21-13, 21-8 to enter the Round of 16. Meanwhile, in another match, Guru Sai Dutt crashed out of the tournament as he lacked momentum and went down against Sitthikom Thammasin of Thailand 18-21, 11-21.

In women’s singles event, Riya Mukherjee made it to the second round after defeating Phittyaporn Chaiwan of Thailand 21-17, 21-15. Pooja and Sanjana became the first Indian women’s doubles pair to be through after defeating Saruni and Anees 21-6, 21-11.

Manu Atri and Sumeeth Reddy became the first Indian pair to be through to the second round in the men’s doubles event. The top-seeded pair defeated Ravi and Lakshay Saroha in straight games 21-14, 21-7. Meanwhile, top seed Pranav Jerry Chopra along with Shivam Sharma dispatched Senthil and Vembarasen by 21-13, 21-13.

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