Australian Open: Sindhu, Sameer make impressive starts

P.V. Sindhu beat Indonesia’s Choirunnisa 21-14, 21-9, while Sameer Verma prevailed over Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia 21-15, 16-21, 21-12.

Sindhu will face Thailand's Nitchaon Jindapol in the second round on Thursday.   -  AFP

India's top shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Sameer Verma made a good start to the Australian Open 2019 on Wednesday by progressing to the second round.

World No 5 Sindhu defeated Indonesia’s Choirunnisa 21-14, 21-9 in a lop-sided contest in women’s singles to set up a clash with Thailand's Nitchaon Jindapol in the next round.

Sixth seed Sameer Verma exacted revenge against Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia 21-15, 16-21, 21-12 in a thrilling opening round men’s singles match. The Indian had lost to Lee at the Sudirman Cup last month.

The 25-year-old from Madhya Pradesh, who had reached the semifinals at World Tour Finals, will square off against Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei in second round.

Among others, former Singapore Open champion B. Sai Praneeth, who had reached the finals at Swiss Open this year, beat Korea’s Lee Dong Keun 21-16 21-14, to set up a clash with second seed Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting next.

Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap also cleared the opening hurdle, entering the second round with a 21-16 21-15 win over Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon. He will next cross swords with Lin Dan, who recently won the Malaysia Open.

However, Prannoy found the going tough against Lin Dan, going down 18-21 19-21 to the eighth seeded Chinese legend.

In men’s doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeated compatriots Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy 21-12 21-16 to enter the second round.

The young duo will next fight it out against second seeded Chinese pair of Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen.

However, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy lost 14-21 13-21 to Korean combination of Baek Ha Na and Kim Hye Rin.