Anup Sridhar moves to second round

Anup Sridhar advanced to the second round in men's singles badminton after beating Marco Vasconcelos of Portugale 21-16, 21-14 at the Beijing Olympics.

updated: August 14, 2008 16:55 IST
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Anup Sridhar, India's lone male badminton player in fray, on Sunday breezed into the second round of the singles event with a straight game win against Marco Vasconcelos of Portugal in the Beijing Olympic in Beijing.

The Indian took just about half an hour to tame his opponent 21-16, 21-14 to set up a second round clash with world number 12 Shoji Sato of Japan who is regarded as one of the most nimble-footed shuttlers around.

Anup, who is yet to regain full fitness since twisting his ankle last month, looked a little rusty in the first game. Marco had in fact a better start as the Portuguese raced to a 6-3 lead before the Indian went on to win five points on the trot to snatch the lead and never lost it as he wrapped up the game in 15 minutes.

In the second game, Anup seized early initiatives to go 6-1 up and again he never allowed the Portuguese to pose any threat to the cushion as he sealed the match in style.

Later, Sridhar said it was a conscious decision on his part not to play too many smash shots.

"Because of conditions, the court was slow and to hit a smash, you have to be early in your position, else the opportunity may go waste. "Besides, my ankle is still stiff and though it did not trouble me, I did not want to take chance," he said.

Sridhar said he tried to conserve energy for the next round match where Shoji Sato would do everything to make life difficult for him. "It would be an interesting battle, for we have played earlier and know each other's strength and weaknesses," he added.