The Indian contingent made a bright start to their Swiss Open campaign on Tuesday, as Ajay Jayaram, HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma and Sai Praneeth won their respective first round matches with relative ease. Sai Praneeth had the toughest encounter as Mathias Bonny nearly handed over a shock exit to him.
Ajay Jayaram cruised through to the second round with a comfortable 21-8, 21-17 win over Jiann Shiarng Chiang of Malaysia, in a match which lasted just 26 minutes. The 11th seeded Indian star will now face Japan's Kenichi Tago later today.
13th seeded HS Prannoy faced a tougher challenge from his Finnish opponent Kalle Koljonen. Prannoy was trailing the first game at 18-19, but managed to win the last three points to win the game 21-19. In the second game, Prannoy was comfortably placed at 17-14 at one point, but lost three straight points to provide an opening to Kalle. However, he regained his grip and eventually won the game 21-19. Prannoy will take on German shuttler Lars Schaenzler in the second round.
Sameer Verma defeated Emil Holst 21-17, 24-22 after a marathon second game. Sameer had a 13-7 lead in the second game, but the Danish shuttler came back strongly and took the game to a tie-break. Sameer will have to be at his best when he faces fourth-seeded Wang Zhengming in the next round.
Sai Praneeth, ranked 37, took on Mathias Bonny of Switzerland, who is ranked 277, and the Indian nearly managed to grab a shock exit. After comfortably winning the first game 21-14, the 23-year-old was dominated by Bonny in the second and lost it 13-21. However, Praneeth stepped up his game after the wake up call and eased past his opponent in the third game 21-6. He will now face Artyom Savatyugin in the next round.
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