Indian men’s singles shuttlers Ajay Jayaram and R.M.V. Gurusaidutt won their respective first two matches to enter the third round of the $50,000 Dutch Open Grand Prix, being played at the Topsportcentrum Almere here. Third seed Jayaram first overcame local boy Mark Caljouw 19-21, 21-17, 21-18 in an hour and four minutes before beating German Fabian Roth 21-14, 21-10 in just under half an hour on Wednesday to proceed to the pre-quarterfinals.

The 28-year-old Jayaram, who last month reached the final of Korea Open, will next take on Finnish Kasper Lehikoinen for a place in the last eight in their first ever meeting. Ninth seed Gurusaidutt later easily overcame Belgian Maxime Moreels 21-8, 21-9 in 27 minutes before beating Chinese Taipei’s Chun-Wei Chen 21-14, 21-19 in 38 minutes. 

The Commonwealth Games bronze medallist will face Ukraine’s Dmytro Zavadsky. However, it was the end of the road for fourth seed B. Sai Praneeth, who defeated Danish Steffen Rasmussen 21-15, 21-11 in 33 minutes in the first round but went down to another Dane, Rasmus Fladberg, 15-21, 21-7, 12-21 in 48 minutes in the second round. Another Indian who was ousted from the category was 14th seed Anand Pawar who lost to Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin in 34 minutes. 

The Malaysian beat the Mumbaikar 21-10, 21-15. But in the women’s singles opener, P.C. Thulasi had enough steam in her to edge past Dutchwoman Gayle Mahulette in 57 minutes. The Kerala shuttler eventually won 20-22, 21-15, 21-16 and will next take on Irish Chloe Magee in the second round. Dutch second seeds Jacco Arends and Selena Piek also took care of Indian mixed doubles pair of Tarun Kona and N. Sikki Reddy, winning 21-16, 21-15 in the opener.

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