French Open Super Series: Saina, Prannoy, Praneeth storm into second round

Updated On : 26 Oct , 2017 , 11:26 AM
Saina Nehwal - File Photo
Saina Nehwal - File Photo
New Delhi:

Saina Newal, H S Prannoy and B Sai Praneeth secured impressive victories to progress into the second round of the USD 325,000 French Open Super Series on Wednesday.

Glasgow World Championship bronze medallist Saina fended off a tough challenge from Denmark's rising shuttler Line Hjmark Kjaersfeldt 21-14 11-21 21-10 in the opening round to set up a potential clash with Japan's Akane Yamaguchi in a revenge match.

Fifth seeded Yamaguchi had ended Saina's good run at the Denmark Open last week and the Indian will be eager to avenge the defeat against the Danish Open finalist.

Earlier, US Open champion Prannoy, who had reached the quarterfinals at Odense, sent packing Denmark Open finalist Korea's 37-year-old veteran Lee Hyun Il 21-15 21-17, while Praneeth made amends for his opening round exit last week with a 21-13 21-23 21-19 win over Thailand's Khosit Phetpradab.

Praneeth will face qualifier Kenta Nishimoto in his next match. The Japanese extended the woes of three-time Olympic silver medallist and current World No. 7 Lee Chong Wei by knocking out the Malaysian 21-14 21-15 in the opening round.

Prannoy, who has beaten the former World No. 1 Malaysian twice this season, will square off against Denmark's Hans- Kristian Solberg Vittinghus next.

Women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy made quick work of England's Jenny Moore and Victoria Williams 21-12 21-12 to also make a positive start to the tournament.

However, it turned out to be a frustrating day for Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap as his gallant fight ended with a narrow 23-21 18-21 17-21 loss to Indonesia's rising star Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, who had won the Korea Open this season.

Doubles combo of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy's dismal run continued with another first-round exit after they lost 11-21 13-21 to Russian pair of Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov.

Yesterday, mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy suffered a 15-21 12-21 loss to fourth seeded Indonesians Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir.

Up against an experienced opponent, whom he had lost to twice in very close games, Prannoy gave ample display of his new found prowess as he tore through the opening game, without giving any chance to Lee.

In the second game, Prannoy lead 8-5 and even though Lee held a slender 11-10 lead at the break, the Indian jumped ahead to 13-11.

Lee clawed back with two points before Prannoy moved ahead to comfortably seal the issue. Praneeth, on the other hand, had to go through the grind as his unheralded opponent sprang a surprise to take the second game after the Indian had pocketed the first game having broken off at 7-7.

In the second game, Praneeth blew a 15-6 lead as 35th ranked Khosil managed to force the match into the decider.      

Praneeth held a 11-8 lead in the third game, only to see it vapourise as Khosil turned the tables, reaching 19-16. But the Indian regained her poise and reeled off five points to seal the deciding game. 

First Published : Thursday, October 26, 2017 11:21 AM
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