Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma in Australian Open badminton

Vastavam web: Indian shuttlers started on a positive note at the Australian Open with second seed B Sai Praneeth and fourth seed Sameer Verma progressing to the second round of the men’s singles event here on Wednesday.While Praneeth beat Israel’s Misha Zilberman in straight games 21-17 21-14, Sameer had to toil hard to get the better of New Zealand’s Abhinav Manota 13-21 21-17 21-12 in the opening round of the HSBC BWF World Tour Super 300 event.

Sameer’s brother, Sourabh Verma, however, suffered a hard-fought 19-21 21-17 21-12 defeat at the hands of Japan’s Takuma Ueda.Praneeth will next play Panji Ahmad Maulana of Indonesia, while Sameer will be up against Takuma, who defeated his elder brother in the opening round.Other lesser-known Indians, who fell by the wayside in men’singles first round, were Karan Rajan Rajarajan, losing 15-21 8-21 against Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia, and Rahul Yadav Chittaboina.

It turned out to be a good day for the Indians in the men’s doubles competition as the pairs of third-seeded Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy and seventh seeds Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok advanced to the next round with easy wins over their Australian rivals. While Manu and Sumeeth defeated Lukas Defolky and Michael Fariman 21-11 21-10, Arjun and Ramachandran scored a comfortable 21-7 21-15 win over Raymond Tam and Eric Vuong in their respective tournament-openers.

Manu and Sumeeth will next face Korean combination of Hyuk Gyun Choi and Kyung Hoon Park.It was also end of the road for men’s doubles pair of Rohan Kapoor and Shivam Sharma after losing 15-21 21-15 7-21 against Malaysia’ Tang Jie Chen and Soon Huat Goh.The only Indian pair to feature in the women’s doubles, Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram entered the second round with a comfortable 21-10 21-16 win over Australia’s Maggie Chan and Jodee Vega.