Tokyo: K. Srikanth and H.S. Prannoy advanced to the quarter finals of men’s singles competition in the Japan Open with superb wins but it was curtains for teen sensation P.V. Sindhu at the $200,000 Super Series event here on Thursday.
World No.56 Prannoy once again punched above his weight, surpassing Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen, ranked ninth, 21-14, 13-21, 21-17 in a 53-minute match.
Srikanth, who has also acquired a giant-killing reputation with his recent exploits, continued his carnage, defeating Japan’s Kazuteru Kozai 21-12, 21-16 in just over half an hour.
However, it was end of the road for Sindhu as the eighth-seeded Indian lost 6-21, 17-21 to local shuttler Akane Yamaguchi in a 32-minute match at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
Indian men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy also could not get across the more experienced combo of fourth-seeded Chinese Xiaolong Liu and Zihan Qiu and lost 17-21, 16-21 in a 36-minute encounter.
The highlight of the day for India was Prannoy’s gritty performance as he rode on his mighty smashes and energetic display at the nets to tame the 25-year-old Dane, who had won the silver medal at 2010 European Badminton Championships.
Down 1-4 early on, Prannoy soon erased the deficit to catch up with Jorgensen and then charted his own way from 9-9 and used his smashes to good use to lead the match 1-0 after the first game.
Not ready to take it lying low, Jorgensen once again opened up a slender 4-2 lead and though the Indian had clawed back, the Dane was successful in breaking the deadlock at 9-9 and then maintaining the distance to comeback into the contest.
In the decider, it was Prannoy’s turn to hold on to the early lead and despite a gallant effort by Jorgensen to thwart his young rival’s challenge, the Indian was able to keep the match within his grasp.
Meanwhile, Saina Nehwal remained at No.4 while PV Sindhu lost two places to crash out of the top-10 list in the latest BWF world ranking.