Japan Open badminton: PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, K Srikanth enter Round 2
PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth won their respective openers in Tokyo to advance in the Japan Open Superseries badminton.other sports Updated: Sep 20, 2017 17:38 IST
PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth won their respective openers in contrasting fashion to enter the second round of the $325,000 Japan Open Superseries in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Korea Open champion Sindhu had to dig deep before prevailing 12-21, 21-15, 21-17 in an hour and four minutes against local player Minatsu Mitani at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
After sharing the first two games, Sindhu led throughout the decider to reach matchpoint with ease. World No.19 Minatsu, who was egged on by the home crowd, tried fighting back by saving four matchpoints but the Indian closed on the game and match on her fifth attempt.
This was Rio Olympics silver medallist Sindhu’s second win in three meetings against the Japanese.
However, the lanky Indian shuttler will take on reigning World Champion Nozomi Okuhara in the women’s singles second round on Thursday. The two have had some history in the past with the Japanese clinching the World Championships final but Sindhu getting the better of Nozomi in the Korea Open final on Sunday.
This will be the ninth meeting between the two with the record even at 4-all.
Earlier, Saina continued from where she left off at the World Badminton Championships, where she clinched a bronze, to beat Thai Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-17, 21-9 in 39 minutes. This was the London Olympic bronze medallist’s third win in as many meetings over the Thai World No.25.
However, Saina will be up against old nemesis and reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the women’s singles second round. The Hyderabadi has a 4-3 advantage in career meetings over the Spaniard but the two have not played yet this year.
In men’s singles action, eighth seeded Srikanth defeated Chinese World No.10 Tian Houwei 21-15, 12-21, 21-11 in a match that lasted an hour and four minutes This was Srikanth’s only second win against Houwei in eight meetings. This was also the first time the two met this year.
The World No.8 Indian will next face veteran Hu Yun of Hong Kong for a place in the quarterfinals. Though Srikanth and Hu Yun have a 2-2 record, the two have not played against each other in the last two years.
HS Prannoy also progressed to the second round with a 21-12, 21-14 victory over Danish Anders Antonsen 21-12, 21-14 in 36 minutes. This was the first career meeting between the two players, who are ranked between No.15 and 20.
Prannoy will next face Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Jen Hao, who has a 2-0 record against the Indian.
A little while later, Sameer Verma beat Thai Khosit Phetpradab 21-12, 21-19 in 40 minutes to also move into the second round. This was the Indian’s first win over the Phetpradab in two meetings.
He will next take on Chinese second seed Shi Yuqi, who won the only match between them last year.
Meanwhile, it was the end of the road for Sourabh Verma and B. Sai Praneeth.
While Chinese seventh seed and two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan beat Sourabh Verma 11-21, 21-15, 21-13 in 50 minutes, South Korean Lee Dong Keun beat B Sai Praneeth 21-23, 21-17, 21-14 in an hour and 25 minutes.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also advanced to the second round of mixed doubles as they beat Thai pair Tinn Isriyanet and Pacharapun Chochuwong 21-17, 21-13 in 35 minutes.
The Indian combine have a tough challenge ahead as they take on Indonesian fourth seeds Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto next.
Ashwini’s luck, however, dimmed as she and women’s doubles partner N. Sikki Reddy lost their opener 17-21, 12-21 in 40 minutes to South Korean third seeds Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee.
A little while later Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy lost their men’s doubles opener to Chinese Taipei eighth seeds Lee Jhe-Huei and Lee Yang 18-21, 15-21 in 31 minutes.
Then, Indonesian third seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo beat Indian combine of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty 27-25, 21-15 in 37 minutes in their men’s doubles opener.