Australian Open Badminton: Parupalli Kashyap, Siril Verma and Ruthvika Gadde ease into main draw

NEW DELHI: Three out of the four unseeded Indian badminton players in the qualifying round for the 2017 Australian Open Super Series have sealed passage to the main draw, winning their respective matches at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre on Monday.

Parupalli Kashyap, ranked 69th in the BWF men’s singles, saw off China’s Zhao Junpeng 21-15, 21-18 in the opening round before disposing Indonesia Open Super Series Premier runners-up Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai 21-5, 21-16 in the second men’s singles match.

Young Siril Verma also made it to the main draw after brushing aside Indonesia’s Yehezkiel Fritz Mainaky 21-9, 21-9 and then defeating compatriot Shreyansh Jaiswal 21-16, 21-14.

In women’s singles qualifying round, Ruthvika Shivani Gadde beat Australia’s Sylvina Kurniawan 21-15, 21-15 and then dumped another local player Ruwindi Serasinghe 21-9, 21-7 to make it to the main draw.

Most of India’s top badminton players have already moved into the main draw. HS Prannoy, who reached the semi-final of the Indonesia SSP after beating the world No 3 Lee Chong Wei in straight games and Olympic champion Chen Long, will begin his campaign against England’s Rajiv Ouseph in the opening round.

Indonesia Open champion K Srikanth will face Kan Chao Yu in the opening round after the shuttler from Chinese Taipei defeated Australia’s Jacob Schueler 21-15, 21-8 and Chinese Taipei’s Chun-Wei Chen 21-15, 23-21.

Having missed the Indonesia SSP, Ajay Jayaram will face the seventh seed Ng Ka Long Angus, while B Sai Praneeth, who won the Thailand Grand Prix Gold, will be up against Tommy Sugiarto. Saina Nehwal has tough opponent in the first round as she will play the fourth seed Sung Ji Hyun. PV Sindhu will play Sayaka Soto, who this weekend lifted the Indonesia SSP.

In the men’s doubles, Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy are due to face the third seeded Japanese pair of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda, Tarun Kona and Francis Alwin will face Hendra Setiawan and…

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