Thulasi, Arundhati, Sai Praneeth enter main draw in Singapore

Singapore, June 18 (IANS) Indian shuttlers P.C. Thulasi, Arundhati Pantawane and B. Sai Praneeth entered the main draw after winning the qualification rounds of their respective categories at the Singapore Open Super Series here Tuesday.

Sai Praneeth, who sent legendary Taufik Hidayat into retirement last week, won both his men’s singles qualification matches.

The youngster beat Japanese Riichi Takeshita 21-12, 22-20 in 36 minutes after overcoming Malaysian Muhammad Hafiz Hashim 21-13, 21-15 in 26 minutes. He will face second seed Yun Hu of Hong Kong in the first round of the main draw Wednesday.

Arundhati and Thulasi also entered the women’s singles main draw. Arundhati, who hails from Nagpur, first thrashed Russian Anna Astrakhantseva 21-5, 21-10 in 17 minutes before beating local girl Xiaoyu Liang 21-14, 21-16 in half an hour.

Meanwhile, P.C. Thulasi beat Vietnamese Thi Trang Vu 21-18, 21-17 in 38 minutes in the first round and Thai Chochuwong Pornpawee 18-21, 21-13, 21-8 in 51 minutes in the second in the last match of the day.

However, it was the end of the road for the rest of the Indian shuttlers.

Singapore’s Wei Han Tan and Dellis Yuliana beat Jwala Gutta and Prajakta Sawant 22-20, 21-12 in 27 minutes in the first round of the women’s doubles qualifiers. Prajakta, playing with Malaysian partner Mohd. Razif Abdul Latif in mixed doubles, lost to localites Zhao Jiang Terry Yeo and Lei Yao 16-21, 20-22 in 26 minutes.

Hong Kong’s Nan Wei overcame former national champion Arvind Bhat 19-21, 21-9, 21-15 in 51 minutes of the men’s singles qualification first round while local boy Yong Zhao Ashton Chen beat H.S. Prannoy 19-21, 21-19, 21-12 in one hour and six minutes.

Malaysians Zheng Yi Kok and Keat Zhen Kong beat Manish Gupta and Gaurav Venkat 21-13, 17-21, 21-11 in 33 minutes in the first round of the men’s doubles qualifiers.

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