Saina, Kashyap, Sourabh in pre-quarters of Thailand Open

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Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal
New Delhi, June 9: Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal notched up a thrilling three-game victory over Chinese Lu Lan in the opening round to advance to the pre-quarters of the Thailand Grand Prix Gold in Bangkok on Wednesday, June 8.

Commonwealth games bronze medallist P Kashyap and young shuttler Sourabh Verma also registered contrasting wins to enter the pre-quarterfinals of the men''s singles category.

World number four and top seed Saina staved off a challenge from Lu 21-17 14-21 21-18 in the first round women's singles match which lasted around an hour.

India''s top men's singles player Kashyap, seeded 14th, also brushed aside Poodchalat Pisit 21-17 9-21 21-11 in a 52-minute match first before going past Indonesian Sukamta Evert 21-13 21-14 in the second round.

Kashyap will next take on Mohamad Arif Abdul Latif of Malaysia on Thursday, June 9.

Sourabh also made a resounding start to his campaign, beating Andre Kurniawan Tedjono 15-21 21-19 22-20 in an hour and 11 minutes match in his first round.

The Madhya Pradesh then saw off Jen Hao Hsu of Chinese Taipei 21-17 20-22 21-16 to set up a clash with Malaysian qualifier Beng Hong Kuan in the third round.

His countrymate RMV Gurusai Datt, however, could not make it to the pre-quarters after losing a gallant battle against 16th seed Choong Hann Wong of Malaysia 13-21 21-19 12-21. Guru had defeated Malaysian Kwong Beng Chan 21-10 20-22 21-10 in the first round.

Ajay Jayaram too failed to cross the second round after going down to fourth seed Jin Chen of China 12-21 21-15 18-21 at the CU Sport complex.

He had beaten Chinese Taipei's Tien Chen Chou 21-14 21-17 in a 35-minute first round match.

Arundhati Pantawane, who had won the Gold Medal in National Games at Ranchi, registered wins in the first two qualification rounds but failed to get across her third round opponent Hung Yung Chan of Hong Kong.

PTI

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