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Kartik, Pranaav lead Indians into main draw at India Open

Indian shuttlers expectedly dominated the qualifying round at the India Open with eight singles and 10 doubles pairs from the country securing berths in the main draw on Tuesday.

As many as 13 shuttlers were from India out of 16 in the men’s singles qualifiers, where Rahul Yadav Chittaboina, Siddharth Thakur, Kartik Jindal and Kartikey Gulshan Kumar made it to the main draw.

World No. 257 Jindal hardly broke a sweat in dismissing the 365th Pavel Kotsarenko in the first round. He was then made to work hard by the spirited Sarath Dunna, who had knocked out Yehezkiel Fritz Mainaky, 21-9, 17-21, 21-16 in his opening round.

Dunna showed the same resolve against Jindal before going down 12-21, 23-21, 19-21 in a tight contest that lasted 53 minutes.

Chittaboina recorded a 21-14, 21-15 victory over Anant Shivam Jindal to qualify for the main draw. Thakur was equally impressive in his 21-6, 21-13 win over Gurpartap Singh Dhaliwal and was joined by Kartikey Gulshan Kumar.

In women’s singles, Ritika Thaker, Prashi Joshi, Riya Mookerjee, and Vaidehi Choudhari progressed out of the eight qualifiers, which featured six Indians.

In women’s doubles, Megha Morchana Bora and Manali Sinha staved off a stiff resistance from Anamika Kashyap and Sanghamitra Saikia to register a 24-22, 21-13 win.

In mixed doubles, Aparna Balan and Mohamed Muanis went down to the experienced Hong Kong pair of Tang Chun Man and NG Tsz Yau.

On Wednesday, 2017 champion PV Sindhu will start her campaign against compatriot Mugdha Agrey, while 2015 winner Kidambi Srikanth meets the tricky Wong Wing Ki Vincent in the opening round and fifth seed Sameer Verma has Rasmus Gemke of Denmark as his first round opponent.

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