Ace Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy moved into the second round of Japan Open with contrasting wins over their respective rivals in the women’s and men’s singles events at Tokyo on Wednesday.
Fifth seed Sindhu, who came out second best in last week’s Indonesia Open, took 37 minutes to get the better of unseeded Chinese Han Yue 21-9 21-17 and set up a clash against Aya Ohori of Japan.
Sindhu came agonisingly close to winning her first title of the year before losing to another Japanese Akane Yamaguchi at the Indonesia Open last week.
But it was curtains for eighth seed K Srikanth, whose poor run of form continued as he crashed out after suffering defeat at the hands of compatriot Prannoy earlier in the day.
Prannoy stunned the higher-ranked Srikanth 13-21 21-11 22-20 in a match that lasted 59 minutes at the BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament.
It was disappointment for Sameer Verma as well as he lost to Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in straight games in another men’s singles match. The unseeded Indian lost 17-21 12-21 in the contest that lasted 46 minutes.
The eighth seed Srikanth, who holds a superior head-to-head record against Prannoy, started of well clinching the first game 21-13.
However, the unseeded Prannoy came back strongly taking the second game 21-11. The decider went down to the wire with Prannoy having the last laugh. He will face Rasmus Gemke of Denmark in the second round.
Srikanth, the former world No 1, has been struggling for consistency this season. He made a second-round exit from the Indonesia Open last week.
It was good news for India in the men’s doubles competition as Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeated the English pair of Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge 21-16 21-17 to enter the second round.
They will next be up against the winner of another first-round match between Korean pair of Solgyu Choi and Seung Jae Seo and China’s Kai Xiang Huang and Cheng Liu.
But the women’s doubles combination of Ashwini Ponappa and N Sikki Reddy crashed out after losing 16-21 14-21 against Korea’s So Yeong Kim Korea and Hee Yong Kong.
The Indian mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy also bowed out of the tournament, losing 11-21 14-21 to top seeded Chinese duo of Zhend Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiaong in just 26 minutes.