Kidambi Srikanth’s poor run of form continued as the Indian shuttler crashed out of the Japan Open after suffering a first-round defeat at the hands of compatriot HS Prannoy, in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Later in the day, despite being tested in the second game, PV Sindhu started off her campaign with a fairly straight-forward win against China’s Yue Han. The Indian won 21-9, 21-17 in just 37 minutes. The Indonesia Open silver medallist faces a tricky opponent in local favourite Aya Ohori in the second round.
Sindhu, however, has won all her previous seven meetings against the world No 20 from Japan.
There was disappointment for Sameer Verma too, who went down to Denmark’s Anders Antonsen (runner-up in Jakarta last week) in straight games in another men’s singles match. The unseeded Indian lost 17-21, 12-21 in a contest that lasted 46 minutes.
Meanwhile in the men’s doubles draw, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty beat England’s Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge 21-16, 21-17 to progress to the second round.
Prannoy stunned higher ranked Srikanth 13-21, 21-11, 22-20 in a match that lasted 59 minutes at the BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament.
Eighth seed Srikanth, who holds a superior head-to-head record against Prannoy, started of well clinching the first game 21-13.
However, the unseeded Prannoy came back strongly taking the second game 21-11. The decider went down to the wire with Prannoy having the last laugh. He will now face Rasmus Gemke of Denmark in the second round.
Srikanth, the former world No 1, has been struggling for consistency this season. He suffered a second-round exit from the Indonesia Open last week.
It was curtains for the mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy as well. The duo went down 11-21, 14-21 to the Chinese duo of Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiaong in just 26 minutes. This was the second time the Indian mixed doubles duo had come up against the top-seeded Chinese pair in the space of a week.
Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy who competed in women’s doubles, also suffered a defeat against Korean duo Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong 16-21, 14-21 in straight games.