Sameer, Kiran, Ashmita enter main draw of Thailand Open

Bangkok: Indian shuttlers Sameer Verma, Kiran George and Ashmita Chaliha notched up straight-game wins over their respective opponents in the qualifying round to progress to the main draw of the singles event at the Thailand Open Super 500 badminton tournament here on Tuesday.

On a comeback trail, former world number 11 Sameer, who won the Slovenia Open recently, beat Malaysia’s Yeoh Seng Zoe 21-12, 21-17 after getting two walkovers — Indonesia’s Christian Adinata and Spain’s Luis Enrique Penalver in the previous rounds.

The 28-year-old from Dhar, who had won three titles in 2018, will face Denmark’s Magnus Johannesen in the opening round of the main draw.

Kiran, the 2022 Odisha Open winner, outwitted fellow Indian Kartikey Gulshan Kumar 21-14, 21-18 and then defeated Korea’s Jeon Hyeok Jin 21-10, 21-14 to make it to the main draw. He will face third seed Chinese Shi Yuqi on Wednesday.

In women’s singles, Ashmita Chaliha, who recently topped BAI’s selection trials to make it to individual events of the upcoming Asian Games, saw off fellow Indian Unnati Hooda 21-16, 13-21, 21-19 before beating Estonian Kristin Kuuba 21-19, 21-11 in the second match.

The girl from Assam will meet compatriot Malvika Bansod, who was promoted to the main draw.

Among others, Tokyo Olympian B Sai Praneeth and national champion Mithun Manjunath were promoted to the main draw and will meet France’s Christo Popov and Thailand’s second seed Kunlavut Vitidsarn respectively.