India’s campaign in the women’s singles category of the $325,000 Japan Open Superseries ended after P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal lost in straight games to local favourite Nozomi Okuhara and Spain’s Carolina Marin, in their respective matches here on Thursday. However, there was good news from the men’s singles with Kidambi Srikanth and H.S. Prannoy advancing to the quarter-finals here.
Playing local favourite Okuhara for the third consecutive time in as many tournaments, Sindhu failed to repeat her Korea Open form and committed too many errors to go down 18-21 8-21 in a lop-sided 47-minute contest.
Sindhu squandered a lead of 11-9 and 18-16 in the opening game and looked completely out of sorts in the second game to bow out early. On the other hand, playing her first tournament after the bronze medal feat at the World Championships, Saina failed to put up a fight and meekly went down 16-21 13-21 to the reigning Olympic champion.
Saina too squandered a bright start, with a slender 11-9 lead in the first game before trailing 10-17 in the second and eventually bowing out meekly. Among the men, World No.8 Srikanth, who clinched back-to-back titles in Indonesia and Australia this year, demolished Hong Kong’s Hu Yun 21-12 21-11 within half an hour to make it to the final eight.
The Indian will now face the recently crowned world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark. US Open Champion Prannoy managed to upstage Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Jen Hao 21-16 23-21. He will now play against second seed Chinese Shi Yuqi.
In the mixed doubles category, the pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy played their hearts out before losing 27-29 21-16 12-21 to Indonesian fourth seeds Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto in a match that lasted an hour and six minutes.