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Japan Open 2022: Kidambi Srikanth wins against Lee Zii Jia; Lakshya Sen bows out

It has been a disappointing start to India's campaign at the Japan Open 2022 as Lakshya Sen crashed out in the first round, along with MR Arjun/Dhruv Kapila, as well. However, Kidambi Srikanth notched an excellent win over Lee Zii Jia.

Kidambi Srikanth Thomas Cup 2022
Kidambi Srikanth at the Thomas Cup 2022 (Source: Sports18)

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 31 Aug 2022 5:11 AM GMT

It was a disappointing start for India's men's singles and men's doubles campaign on Day 2 of the Japan Open Super 750 in Osaka as Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen and BWF World Championships quarter-finalist pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, crashed out in the first round itself.

But Kidambi Srikanth soon turned things around as he got a massive win against World No. 4 Malaysian shuttler Lee Zii Jia in straight games, 22-20, 23-21 to enter the next round. Srikanth, who was struggling with form at the CWG and the World Championships, came in blazing all guns against the former All England champion and stormed into the pre-quarters.

Meanwhile, Lakshya, who suffered a tough defeat at the hands of fellow Indian shuttler HS Prannoy in the pre-quarters of the BWF World Championships last week in Tokyo, was not able to make much of an impression against the lower-ranked Kenta Nishimoto of Japan.

Although the World No. 10 made a good start against the local player ranked at World No. 21, the tables soon turned as Lakshya played a very passive game, which is anyway very unexpected from the All England silver medallist. With the match going down to the wire, Lakshya Sen lost 18-21, 21-14, 21-13 in a 66-minute clash.

On the other hand, the in-form men's doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila faltered against a South Korean pair of Choi Sol Gyu and Kim Won Ho in another three-setter, losing 21-19, 21-23, 15-21.

Dhruv and Arjun were sensational at the BWF World Championships and reached the quarterfinals on a hot spree, making them jump nine spots on the BWF ranking list and enter the Top 30 as well, for the first time in their careers. However, the newly-crowned World No. 26 pair had to fight tooth and nail against the World No. 34 duo from Korea in a closely-contested clash, before ultimately losing.

In the mixed doubles, Venkat Prasad and Juhi Dewangan also lost to top-seeds from China, Chan Peng Soon and Cheah Yee See, 21-11, 21-10.

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