The Indian women’s doubles pairing of Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta won their first round match yesterday at the Bitburger Open in Saarbrucken, Germany, beating the local pair of Anika Dorr and Annika Horbach 21-14, 21-11 in just 23 minutes.
The Indian team used a combination of powerful smashing from Jwala and some excellent net play from Ashwini to easily overcome their first round opponents.
They will next face the 4th seeded Malaysian pair of Hui Ern Ng and Hui Lin Ng in round 2.
Ashwini and Jwala got back playing together just last week at the Yonex French Open, after a gap of almost a year. They lost out in the first round there last week and are looking to do better in the coming tournaments in a bid to prepare for next year’s Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
In singles competition, P.C. Thulasi lost in the first round to 6th seed Sashina Vignes Waran of France 21-18, 14-21, 14-21 in a match that lasted 54 minutes.
On the men’s side, Anand Pawar, who is seeded 5th at the tournament, made light work of Erik Meijs of the Netherlands 21-12, 21-14 in 25 minutes to enter the third round. Earlier, he beat Ukraine’s Kyrylo Leonov to reach round 2. The other Indian male in competition, lost in the first round; Arvind Bhat going out to 3rd seed Rajiv Ouseph from England, 12-21, 17-21.