Top seed Sridhar, Pawar through to pre-quarter-finals


New Delhi : Top seed Anup Sridhar of Petroleum and third seed Anand Pawar of Air India moved into the pre-quaterfinals of the first Pramod Mahajan All India Ranking badminton tournament with comfortable wins over qualifiers Sumit Dahiya of Haryana and Railway’s Arup Baidya at the Siri Fort Sports Complex Thursday.

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National champion Sridhar defeated young Dahiya 21-14, 21-10 to move into the next round where he will play against Maharashtra’s Sagar Chopra. Sagar got the better of Himanshu Kharbanda of Delhi 21-15, 21-17.

In the early stages of the opening game, Sridhar looked a little rusty, committing a few unforced errors. But he quickly found his rhythm and went on to pocket the game 21-14. In the second game, it was a different scenario as Sridhar used his international exposure to great effect to clinch it 21-10.

“It was first match of the tournament. It takes a little time to come out of the grove, but as the tournament progresses my game will improve,” Sridhar said after his match.

In the other match of the day in court no.1, third seed Anand Pawar had a tough fight against qualifier Arup Baidya of Railways, but eventually overcame the challenge 21-18, 21-15. Fifth seed Arvind Bhatt defeated qualifier N.N. Vinayak 21-10, 21-16.

Young Baidya gave Pawar a run for his money in both the sets with his placements and drop shots. He will now play local lad Tanveer Gill who ousted Mayank Behal of Punjab National Bank (PNB).

Meanwhile, in the women’s section top seed Saina Nehwal got a bye in her first match and will be up against Ashwin Ponnapa of Karnataka in the pre-quarterfinal.