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Orleans Masters: Srikanth to face Jayaram in 2nd round (Lead)

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Orleans (France), March 24 (IANS) Ajay Jayaram, Kiran George and Mithun Manjunath went through to the second round of the Orleans Masters Super 100 badminton tournament. Jayaram beat compatriot Alap Mishra in the first round and will now face another compatriot, top seed and former world No.1 Kidambi Srikanth in the second round.

The Orleans Masters provides crucial ranking points that will be part of the qualification cycle for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Srikanth had got a bye in his first round match. Jayaram, on the other hand, beat Mishra 19-21, 23-21, 21-16 in 53 minutes.

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George will also face a high-profile compatriot in second seed HS Prannoy after beating Dutch All England Open semi-finalist Mark Caljouw 13-21, 21-18, 22-20 in the first round. Caljouw had earlier beaten Prannoy in the first round of the Swiss Open.

Manjunath, meanwhile, beat France’s Lucas Claerbout 21-14, 21-10 and will face German Kai Schaefer in the second round.

All second round matches will be played on Wednesday.

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The women’s singles matches also start on Wednesday with fourth seed and 2012 Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal facing Ireland’s Rachael Darragh in the first round. Saina and Srikanth are chasing crucial ranking points in the tournament as they chase a spot in this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

–IANS

rkm/pgh

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