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Anup Sridhar breezes into second round

August 10, 2008 19:27 IST

Anup Sridhar

Anup Sridhar, India's lone male entry at the Beijing [Images] Olympics' [Images] badminton competition, breezed into the second round of the singles event with a straight games' victory over Marco Vasconcelos of Portugal on Sunday.

The Indian ace needed a little more than 30 minutes to tame his opponent 21-16, 21-14 and set up a second round clash with world No 12 Shoji Sato of Japan [Images], 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.

The Portuguese had a good start and raced to a 6-3 lead before the Indian went on the offensive and won five points on the trot to snatch the lead, which he never relinquished before wining the game in 15 minutes.

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In the second game, Anup seized the initiative early and was up 6-1. He again he never allowed the Portuguese any leeway and crusied home easily.

Sridhar later said it was a conscious move not to play too many smash shots.

"Because of the 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 chances," he said.

Sridhar said he tried to conserve energy for the next round match, where Shoji Sato, he felt, will do everything to make life difficult for him.

"It would be an interesting battle, for we have played earlier and know each other's strengths and weaknesses," he added.

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