Japan Open 2023: Prannoy thumps Srikanth; Lakshya, Satwik-Chirag cruise to quarters with straight-game wins
Lakshya, who won the Canada Open earlier this month, defeated local shuttler Kanta Tsuneyama 21-14, 21-16 in 50 minutes.
Lakshya Sen and HS Prannoy in men's singles and the men's doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Ranikreddy and Chirag Shetty have cruised to the quarterfinals of the Japan Open Super 750 with contrasting victories at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo on Thursday.
Lakshya, who won the Canada Open earlier this month, defeated local shuttler Kanta Tsuneyama 21-14, 21-16 in 50 minutes. The world no. 13 will face either Koki Watanabe of Japan or Ng Tze Yong of Malaysia in the quarterfinals.
Satwik-Chirag currently ranked two, too, defeated the Dane pair of Jeppe Bay and Lasse Molhede in straight games (21-17, 21-11) in 36 minutes.
In the opening game, Lakshya started promisingly, racing away to a 5-2 lead as Tsuneyama struggles for rhythm. It does not take much time for the Indian to break away to an 11-5 lead at the mid-game interval, with him coming up with a few elegant crosscourt smashes and brilliant placement of the shuttles in a fast game. Lakshya would eventually take the lead in the match at 21-14.
In the second game, too, he maintained his composure and raced to an 11-9 lead even as Tsuneyama showed some intent to fight back. Post the break, Tsuneyama seemed to have found his mojo back for the first time in the match and took a 16-15 lead, winning a 41-shot rally.
But the Indian shuttler would break away from there onwards and took seven straight points to win the game 21-16 and the match.
In the men's doubles match, Satwik-Chirag, last week's Korea Open champion, began the proceeding promisingly with a 5-2 lead. But the Dane pair fought back to take an 11-9 lead at the mid-game interval. The Indian stars, however, would hold their nerves and win the game 21-17 with some fast-paced attacks.
The second game would see Satik-Chirag amping up their act further and smashing down Bay and Molhede 21-11 to set up a quarterfinal clash with Chinese Taipei's Lee Yang and Wang Chin-Lin.
Prannoy beats Srikanth
In the other men's singles clash, Prannoy came from behind to beat compatriot Kidambi Srikanth 21-19, 21-9, 21-9 in 57 minutes.
Even as the first game went neck-to-neck before Srikanth snatched the lead, Prannoy was ruthless in the second game, with the world no. 10 Indian racing away to take an 11-7 lead at the interval and conceding mere two points in the next 12 points to level the parity.
In the decider, Prannoy remained strong and troubled Srikanth with crosscourt smashes before taking the game with an identical figure of 21-9.
Prannoy will face the winner of the second quarterfinal between Viktor Axelsen and Chico Aura Dwiwardoyo.
Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, the women's doubles combination, however, succumbed to a straight-game defeat to world no. 7 Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida of Japan.