Lakshya to meet Lin Dan; Sai Praneeth, Jayaram advance at NZ Open
Auckland: Indian teenager Lakshya Sen is set to play the biggest match of his nascent career when he will lock horns with legendary Lin Dan in the second round of the New Zealand Open Badminton Championship on Thursday.
The Indians had a field day during the opening round of the tournament with the likes of B Sai Praneeth, Ajay Jayaram and Sameer Verma also recording victories in their respective matches.
Seventeen-year-old Lakshya defeated June Wei Cheam of Malaysia 21-11 21-16 to enter the second round where he will face top seed Dan. The Chinese legend got the better of Takuma Ueda of Japan in straight games 21-13-21-12.
India's top ranked player in the tournament, third seeded Praneeth made short work of Israel's Misha Zilberman 21-11 21-19 in just 41 minutes.
Fifth seeded Indian Verma put up an authoritative display beating Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro 21-8 21-10 in less than half an hour.
Jayaram was the most impressive among the Indians as he upset fourth seeded Hsu Jen Hao 21-23 21-12 21-18 in a 62-minute slugfest.
Sameer's brother Sourabh, however, had an early exit losing to reigning Australian national champion Abhinav Manota who won 21-19 14-21 21-19. Sixth seeded Tomy Sugiarto of Indonesia beat Subhankar Dey 21-18-21-10 in another match. However, the Indian women had a disappointing day in the singles with both Jakka Vaishnavi Reddy and Chukka Sai Uttejitha Rao losing their respective matches.
Vaishnavi lost to Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen of Australia 16-21 19-21 while Uttejitha lost to qualifier Yukino Nakai of Japan 14-21 13-21.
In women's doubles, the pair of J Meghana and S Poorvisha Ram beat Australian pair of Erena Calder Hawking and Jasmin Chung Man 21-17 21-14.
In the men's doubles, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy of India beat Jonathan Curtin and Dhanny Oud 21-14 21-15.
However, the pairs of
Shlok Ramachandran and MR Arjun, Rohan Kapoor and
Shivam Sharma along with Francis Alwin and K Nadagopal lost their first round matches.