World number one Saina Nehwal and Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap reached the second round of the ongoing Japan Open, while PV Sindhu and Ajay Jayaram failed to steer forward.
A mixed day for the Indians as Saina advances
India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal was given tough competition by Thailand’s Busanan Ongbumrungpan in the women’s singles opening match, but the former managed to make the cut. Winning the match in straight sets (21-14 22-20), Saina will now face Japanese player Minatsu Mitani against whom she has an impressive record of 5-2. Kashyap had an easy outing, as his opponent, Takuma Ueda of Japan, retired midway at 3-2 owing to a back injury. He will now take on fellow Indian Kidambi Srikanth, who defeated Ireland’s Scott Evans 21-18 21-15.
HS Prannoy, who won the Indonesia Masters last September, also cruised through after a thrilling victory over Wong Wing Ki Vincent of Hong Kong by 23-21 22-20. Other Indian players, including PV Sindhu and the duo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa, ended their journey in Tokyo. Sindhu lost to Mitani 13-21 21-17 11-21, and Gutta-Ponappa could not overcome the Chinese pair of Zhao Yunlei and Zhong Qianxin. Pradnya Gadre and N Sikki Reddy, another Indian pair in women’s doubles also exited after losing to Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi of Japan 6-21 17-21. Overall, it was a mixed day for the Indian shuttlers.
Saina Nehwal and Jwala Gutta to skip Korea Open
While the nation cheered for Saina Nehwal’s Tokyo victory, fans would be sad to know that she will be giving the upcoming Korea Open Superseries a miss. The tournament will take place at the SK Handball Stadium in Seoul from September 15th to 20th.
Commonwealth winner Jwala Gutta pulled out of the event due to illness, and she tweeted last night saying:
Hit by viral fever cold cough… Most horrible feeling ever..will be pulling out of Korean open too..hope to get back ASAP!!
— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) September 9, 2015
This automatically rules her partner Ashwini Ponappa out of the Korean tournament. The duo lost against Zhao Yunlei and Zhong Qianxin of China in the Japan Open earlier where Gutta played despite being unwell. The only player from India in the women’s singles category will be PV Sindhu. She will be beginning her campaign against former world champion, Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand. N. Sikki Reddy will enter the event with Pradnya Gadre in women’s doubles and Tarun Kona in mixed doubles. In the men’s singles category, four players will be participating: HS Prannoy, Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap and Ajay Jayaram. While Srikanth is seeded fourth, Kashyap stands behind him in eighth for the superseries.