Indian shuttlers started their campaign in the New Zealand Badminton Open on a high, comprehensively winning their respective first round matches of the men's singles event on Wednesday. (File photo: Arvind Bhat)
All the Indians in the fray - Ajay Jayaram, R M V Gurusaidutt, Anand Pawar, Chetan Anand, Arvind Bhat and Kirtesh Dhindhwal - advanced to the second round of the tournament with straight-game victories.
While third seed Jayaram got the better of Winson Neo of Malaysia 21-5 22-20 in just 27 minutes, Gurusaidutt, seeded fourth, took a minute more than Jayaram to beat qualifier Chance Cheng of New Zealand 21-15 21-7.
Fifth seeded Pawar overcame the Chinese challenge from Houwei Tian 21-15 21-19 in a match that lasted 39 minutes.
Jayaram will next take on Marius Myhre of Norway in the second round. Gurusaidutt will face Malaysia's Beryno Jiann Tze Wong and Pawar will play Chia-Hsin Wan of Chinese Taipei.
Meanwhile, 13th seed Bhat completely outplayed Yu Fu Lim of Malaysia 21-9 21-13 in 26 minutes. Fourteenth seed Chetan also had little trouble overcoming New Zealand's Asher Richardson 21-10 21-16 in just 23 minutes.
In the next round, Chetan will be taking on Parinyawat Thongnuam of Thailand.
Bhat will face compatriot Dhindhwal, who registered a an easy 21-10 21-11 win over New Zealander Tony Fang in just 20 minutes.
Earlier on Wednesday, Dhindhwal entered the main round of the competition after playing two qualification matches.
In the first match, he thrashed local hope Rhys Hopkin 21-10 21-7, while in the next tie the Indian defeated another Kiwi player, Niccolo Tagle, 21-19 21-10.
In the women's singles, India's lone representative, Sarada Jasti, will play a qualifier, Vicki Copeland, in the opening round on Thursday.