Seoul, Jan 8: India’s successful women’s doubles badminton pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa started the New Year on a winning note as they entered the second round of the $600,000 Korea Open Super Series here Wednesday.
The 2011 World Championship bronze medallists made short work of New Zealand pair Anna Rankin and Madeleine Stapleton by defeating them 21-10, 21-7 in only 19 minutes at the S.K. Handball Stadium.
However, they have a tough task ahead of them as they take on local third seeds and World No.7 pair Ye Na Jang and So Young Kim Thursday in their first ever clash.
Ashwini also made a superb start with Tarun Kona in mixed doubles, notching up a straight games win over Germans Johannes Schoettler and Johanna Goliszewski.
The Indian pair, who train in Bangalore under coach Tom John, won 22-20, 21-17 in 34 minutes and will face another German combine — seventh seeds Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels — in Round 2.
However, Indian singles shuttlers had to suffer disappointing first round losses.
Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold winner Kidambi Srikanth, who was also crowned the national champion in New Delhi in December, lost to Japanese fifth seed Kenichi Tago without offering much of a fight. Tago took the men’s singles victory 21-10, 21-11 in 36 minutes to increase his head-to-head to 2-0.
R.M.V. Gurusaidutt lost his match to another Japanese, Takuma Ueda in 34 minutes. The World No.15 won the contest with identical scorelines of 21-11, 21-11 to augment his meeting record to 2-0.