Sydney, May 9 (IANS) India’s B. Sai Praneeth defeated Misha Zilberman of Israel in straight games in the opening round of the Australian Open badminton tournament here on Wednesday.
The second-seeded Indian needed only 45 minutes to chalk out a 21-17, 21-14 verdict over his unseeded opponent.
Praneeth will meet Maulana Panji Ahmad of Indonesia in the next round on Thursday.
Praneeth faced resistance from his opponent in the early stages of the first game before opening up a five-point lead at 8-3.
The Israeli fought back to gradually reduce the gap to 14-16. But the Indian won four points on the trot to snatch away the momentum before closing out the game.
The second game also saw a tough contest in the opening stages before the Indian — who was consistent with his accurate placements and clever net play — started to enjoy the upper hand.
Just like the opening game, Misha once again reduced the gap to 14-16 before Praneeth won five consecutive points to win the game and the match.