Australian Open: Prannoy, Sameer enter quarterfinals

Prannoy makes a return to Misha Zilberman. Photo: AFP/Saeed Khan

Sydney:  Indian shuttlers H S Prannoy and Sameer Verma progressed to the men's singles quarterfinals of the Australian Open with contrasting victories over their respective opponents here on Thursday.

While fifth seed Prannoy, a former world No.1, took just 46 minutes to get the better of Misha Zilberman of Israel 21-17, 21-15 in the round of 16, Verma had to toil for one hour and two minutes to upset eighth seed Loh Kean Yew of Singapore 21-14, 14-21, 21-19.

Prannoy will be up against second seed Kodai Naroaka of Japan in the next round, while Verma will take on Chinese Taipei's Chun-Yi Lin on Friday.

However, it was curtains for Kiran George as he lost 20-22, 6-21 to seventh seed Kenta Nishimoto of Japan.

Among the Indian women shuttlers, eighth seed Aakarshi Kashyap beat Australia's Kai Qi Bernice Teoh 21-16, 21-13 to progress to the quarterfinals, where she will be playing third seed Yu Po Pai of Chinese Taipei.

But the tournament ended for Anupama Upadhyaya and Malvika Bansod in the women's singles second round.

While Anupama lost 11-21, 18-21 to sixth seed Putri Kusuma Wardani of Indonesia, Malvika was shown the door by another Indonesian, eighth seed Ester Nurumi Tri Wardoyo 17-21, 21-23.

It was also the end of the road for Panda sisters, Rutaparna and Swetaparna, in the women's doubles. The seventh-seeded India pair was upset  21-5, 21-9 by Malaysian combination of Pei Jing Lai and Chiew Sien Lim.

The mixed doubles pair of B Sumeeth Reddy and N Sikki Reddy, however, continued to march ahead as the eighth-seeded Indian duo defeated Australia's Kai Chen Teoh and Kai Qi Bernice Teoh 21-11, 21-11 to enter the last eight.

But a tough tie awaits Sumeet and Sikki. They will be up against top seeds Zhen Bang Jiang and Ya Xin Wei of China. 

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