India’s top men’s singles players, Lakshya Sen and H.S Prannoy, along with the in-form doubles combine of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty stormed into the quarterfinals of the Japan Open on Thursday, while the women’s doubles combine of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand crashed out.
The 21-year-old Sen, currently ranked 13th in World Rankings, Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan 21-14, 21-16 in a 50-minute encounter in the BWF World Tour Super 750 event with a total prize fund of USD 800,000.
Prannoy got the better of compatriot and former World No.1 Kidambi Srikanth in three games, storming back from a game deficit to win 19-21, 21-9, 21-9 in 57 minutes.
In men’s doubles, Satwik and Chirag, who won the Korea Open last week, also advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Denmark’s Jepp Bay and Lasse Molhedge 21-17, 21-11.
However, India suffered a setback as the top women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Pullela Gayatri Gopichand lost to the World No.7 pair of Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida from Japan, 21-23, 19-21 in just under an hour.
Playing on Court 1 at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Lakshya Sen took an early lead in the first game and opened up a 5-1 lead. Though his Japanese opponent reduced the margin to 7-5, Sen won the next five points in a row to extend it to 12-5. Tsuneyama again fought back to cut down the lead to 16-14, the Indian shuttler won five consecutive points to win the game.
The second game was closer as the players went neck-and-neck till 6-6 before Sen surged ahead to 10-7. Tsuneyama reduced the margin to 12-11 as they fought hard for each point. Till 16-16 before Lakshya won the next five points to win the game and match in 50 minutes.
Lakshya Sen will now take on Koki Watanabe of Japan for a place in the semifinals. Watanabe defeated Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong 21-17, 21-14.
In the other men’s singles quarterfinal played on Court 3, Prannoy jumped to a 4-0 lead. In the first game, but Srikanth reduced it to 5-5 and edged ahead 7-5. The lead changed hands again with Prannoy going ahead 9-7. They went neck and neck till 19-all before Srikanth went on to win 21-19.
But things took a drastic turn in the second game as Prannoy dominated. It taking an early lead, winning five points in a row. From 12-5, Prannoy won seven consecutive points to take a commanding 19-5 lead and went on to win it 21-9. Things were not much different as Prannoy won five consecutive points around. The midway stage and maintained his upper hand to go on to win the match.
On the adjacent Court 2, Satwik and Chirag opened a 5-2 lead in the first game. And maintained the edge and they went ahead 10-6 soon. The Danes levelled scores at 12-12 and the two pairs went neck. And neck till 15-14 before the Indians surged ahead to 19-14 and went on to win the game 21-17.
In the second game, the Danish players opened a 5-2 lead, but the Indians caught. Up with them at 5-5 before opening a 9-5 lead winning seven points in a row. From 11-8, Satwik and Chirag claimed the next six points. To open up a 17-8 lead and went on to win the game 21-11.
India’s top women’s singles player, P.V Sindhu crashed out of the Japan Open. On Wednesday, losing to China’s Zhang Yi Man 13-21, 13-21.