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Shuttlers Sourabh, Rituparna enter Russia Open pre-quarters

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India had a mixed day in office at the Russia Open as six singles shuttlers, including Sourabh Verma and Rituparna Das, progressed to the pre-quarterfinals of the $75,000 BWF Tour Super 100 event here today.

Eighth seed Sourabh, who made it to the Indian team for the Asian Games after doing well in the selection tournaments, defeated compatriot Rahul Yadav Chittaboina 23-21 21-11 in men’s singles, while former national champion Rituparna dumped local hope Victoria Slobodyanyuk 21-11 21-18 in a women’s singles contest.

Also reaching the pre-quarterfinals were Siddharth Pratap Singh, fifth seed Subhankar Dey, seventh seed Mugdha Agrey and Vrushali Gummadi in singles, while men’s doubles pair of Arun George and Sanyam Shukla also entered the third round.

However, it was curtains for senior shuttlers Ajay Jayaram, Parupalli Kashyap and RMV Gurusaidutt as they suffered contrasting losses in the second round today.

While Subhankar ended Ajay Jayaram’s campaign with a thrilling 15-21 21-14 21-15 win, fourth seed Kashyap lost 12-21 11-21 to Japan’s Ryotaro Maruo and Russia’s Vladimir Malkov, seeded second, brushed aside Gurusaidutt 21-14 21-8 in another match.

Siddharth saw off another fellow Indian Bodhit Joshi 21-8 21-14 to set up a clash with compatriot Subhankar.

In women’s singles, Mugdha beat Malaysia’s Yin Fun Lim 21-16 21-19, while Vrushali accounted for Russia’s Elena Komendrovskaja with a 21-11 21-16 win.

Arun and Sanyam, who had played well at the Thomas Cup Final, defeated local pair of Vladimir Nikulov and Artem Serpionov 21-15 21-15 to set up a meeting with Canada’s Jeffrey Lam and England’s Hin Shun Wong.

Among other Indians, Pratul Joshi went down fighting 12-21 21-18 13-21 to third seed Misha Zilberman of Israel while Chirag Sen too put up a gallant fight before losing 14-21 21-16 16-21 to top seed Pablo Abain of Spain in men’s singles.

In women’s singles, Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka, who has been included in the Asian Games squad, squandered an opening game advantage to lose 21-14 15-21 18-21 to Korea’s Byeol Lim Lee, while eighth seeded Kristin Kuuba of Estonia ended Vaidehi Choudhari’s run with a 21-13 21-15 victory.

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