Srikanth, Saina, Praneeth advance in Australian Open

"Also, tactically she needs to perform better towards the closing stages of the match", said Saina's coach Vimal Kumar.

In Badminton, Newly-crowned Indonesia Open champion K Srikanth and title-holder Saina Nehwal progressed to the second round at the Australian Super Series tournament in Sydney today.

Fifth seed PV Sindhu soon followed her into Round 2 even though she had a much tougher job.

Sindhu led 13-10 in the second game and looked to be in total control of the second game when the Japanese staged a great comeback. Unaccountably, she lapsed into errors galore, to lose 11 of the next 12 points, to allow Sato grab the second game and draw level in the contest. Such exasperating end-game jitters have cost her a few times against lesser ranked opponents in the past.

While Saina next faces Malaysian Soniia Cheah, Sindhu will take on Chen Xiaoxin of China, who beat India's Ruthvika Shivani Gadde, 21-17, 12-21, 21-12. She needs to maintain her focus.

PV Sindhu and B. Sai Praneeth also advanced to the pre-quarterfinals.

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In men's singles category, 14th-ranked Praneeth came back from one set down to oust Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia 10-21, 21-12, 21-10 in 47 minutes while Guntur player Srikanth comfortably brushed aside Kan Chao Yu of Chinese Taipei 21-13, 21-16 in just 27 minutes.

If both Indians win, they are slated to bump into each other at the quarter-final stage, from the top quarter of the draw.

In the men's singles, mixed luck was in store for the Indians.

However, it was curtains for H.S. Prannoy, Ajay Jayaram, P. Kashyap and Siril Verma.

However, the resilient Hyderabadi, now in his 17th year on the global circuit, and perched on the 69th rung of the BWF ladder, fell heart-rendingly short of toppling top-seeded Son Wan Ho, who won their first-round encounter in the main draw by a 21-18, 14-21, 21-15 scoreline.

He will next face World No. 1 Son Wan Ho, who the Indian defeated in the semi-finals of the Indonesia Open last week.

While Jayaram suffered a 21-14, 10-21, 9-21 defeat against seventh-seed NG Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong, Prannoy went down 19-21, 13-21 at the hands of England's Rajiv Ouseph.

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