Japan Open: Sindhu, Nehwal into second round with contrasting wins

Japan Open Super Series PV Sindhu aims to maintain winning run after Korea Open triumph

Japan Open Super Series PV Sindhu aims to maintain winning run after Korea Open triumph

It was a high-voltage clash as Saina Nehwal took on Carolina Marin in the second round of the Japan Open in Tokyo on Thursday.

It was reported that PV Sindhu could perform well and lost the game with 18-21, 8-21. After beating her in the World Championships final in Glasgow in August, Okuhara suffered a loss at the Korea Open final last Sunday. Sindhu started the game on attacking note racing to 7-4 lead in the opening game. If one accepts the fact that both players suffered from their long-drawn 83-minute final at the Korea Open, then, too, one has to concede that Okuhara's recovery is faster; and therefore, fitness levels are better. 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 16-2113-21 to the reigning Olympic champion.

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Srikanth was in sparkling form as he blasted Hong Kong's Hu Yun off the court, for a most impressive victory in a minute short of the half-hour mark, at 21-12, 21-11. Nozomi will next take on American eighth seed Beiwen Zhang against whom the Japanese has a 2-0 record.

In the men's singles event, H.S. Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth had stormed into the quarter-finals after comfortably winning their matches.

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Prannoy will now take on second-seed Shi Yuqi of Hong Kong for a place in the semi-finals.

So tough has the competition been between Sindhu and Nozomi in the past, that this was only the second time in nine matches that the encounter did not proceed to the deciding third game.

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Prannoy, on the other hand, will face Chinese second seed Shi Yuqi in the quarters, who ousted Sameer Verma 10-21, 21-17, 21-15 in an hour and four minutes. The two old rivals had not met in over a year but the result remained the same as the Indian succumbed to a 16-21, 13-21 defeat to the Spanish southpaw in 43 minutes.

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