Prannoy stuns Asiad champion

Tokyo: Ace shuttler PV Sindhu had to toil hard even as  Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy scored easy victories to progress to the second round of their respective events at the Japan Open badminton tournament here, Tuesday.

Third seed Sindhu had to sweat it out for 53 minutes before prevailing 21-17, 7-21, 21-13 over unseeded local girl Sayaka Takahashi in her women’s singles opening round.

Sindhu will next play Chinese Fangjie Gao, who defeated the other Indian in fray Jakka Vaishnavi Reddy 21-10, 21-8. Sindhu later attributed a lapse in concentration for the way she lost the second game. “My mind wavered a bit and I met some unforced errors. Thankfully, I regrouped in the third games,” she stated.

In men’s singles, Prannoy defeated current Asian Games gold medallist Jonathan Christie of Indonesia 21-18, 21-17 while Srikanth got the better of Chinese Yuxiang Huang 21-13, 21-15 in another first round match. Prannoy who was brilliant with his net play against Christie, will next face another Indonesian, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting. On the other hand, Srikanth will take on Vincent Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong.

Both Srikanth and Prannoy had suffered shock defeats in the second round of the Asian Games and the duo would be desperate to make amends.

However, it was curtains for another Indian, Sameer Verma, who fought hard before going down 18-21, 22-20, 10-21 to Korean Lee Dong Keun in his opening round encounter.

Meanwhile, it was a mixed outing for the Indian mixed doubles pairs as Satwiksairak Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponappa crashed out in the opening round even as the combination of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy sailed into the next round.

Ranikireddy and Ponappa were shown the door by second seeds Yilyu Wang and Dongping Huang of China 13-21, 17-21, while Chopra and Reddy stormed into the second round with a 21-9, 21-6 victory over Malaysian duo of Mathew Fogarty and Isabel Zhong in a match that lasted just 21 minutes.




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