Pawar keeps India in hunt in Auckland


Anand Pawar was the lone Indian survivor in the singles event advancing to the quarterfinals, while nine doubles pairs entered the
pre-quarterfinals of the New Zealand Open Grand Prix badminton tournament in Auckland
on Wednesday.

Three women’s doubles and as many mixed doubles and men’s doubles pairs reached the pre-quarterfinals after winning their respective matches. Pawar, seeded seventh, beat Andreas Adityawarman of Indonesia 21-16, 18-21, 21-7 in 51 minutes to set up a quarterfinal clash with Japanese Kazushi Yamada.

Top seed Yan Kit Chan of Hong Kong
proved too difficult for RMV Gurusai Datt as the Indian lost 13-21, 11-21, while Anup Sridhar gave a walk over to another Hong Kong shuttler Wing Ki Wong.

Aditya Prakash played his heart out before going down to Yoga Pratama of Indonesian 23-21, 15-21, 11-21.

In women’s singles, Trupti Murgunde beat Australian Renuga Veeran 21-16, 16-21, 21-19 before going down to Japanese fifth seed Eriko Hirose 12-21, 14-21 in the second round, while Neha Pandit could not even cross the first hurdle and lost 19-21 15-21 to seventh seed Kristina Ludikova of Czech Republic.

In men’s doubles, Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu overcame the local pair of Ashraf Dhoray and Delius Tang 21-17, 21-14 to set up a second-round clash with top seed Indians Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas, who got a bye in the first round.

Akshay Dewalkar and Jishnu Sanyal also notched up a win over Kiwis Oliver Leydon-Davis and Henry Tam 16-21, 21-16, 21-15 and will take on another local pair of Kerrin Harrison and Leck S Tham in the pre-quarterfinals.

Among other Indians in fray, last week’s Australian Open runners’ up Aparna Balan and Shruti Kurian brushed aside Mexican-New Zealander combo of Deyanira Angulo and Poh Lin Teo 21-3, 21-9 and will next meet Australian-Filipino pair of Leanne Choo and Karyn Velez in the women’s doubles tomorrow.

Anjali Kalita and Jyotshna Polavarapu thrashed the local pair of Madeleine Stapleton and Melissa Yin 21-8, 21-8 and will face another local duo Amanda Brown and Suzannah Leydon-Davis in the second round.

Pradnya Gadre and Nitya Sosale trounced Anona Pak and Aviva Pak 21-9, 21-9 to set up a clash with second seeded Indonesian pair of Anneke Feinya Agustine and Anisa Wahyuni tomorrow.

However, Jishnu Sanyal and Nitya Sosale faltered in the first round when they lost to six seeded New Zealander combo of Joe Wu and Danielle Barry 21-16, 21-19.

In mixed doubles category, fifth seed Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan beat New Zealand’s Jian Dee Chew and Anna Rankin 21-10, 21-14 and will be up against another local pair of James Eunson and Stephanie Cheng tomorrow.

Similarly, Akshay Dewalkar and Pradnya Gadre spanked eighth seed Oliver Leydon-Davis and Emma Chapple of New Zealand 21-6, 21-7, while Tarun Kona and Shruti Kurian drubbed another local combo Praveen Tayalan and Michelle HK Chan 21-9, 21-5.


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