Akane Yamaguchi delivered yet another clinical performance and cruised to the round of 16 of the India Open 2023 at the K.D. Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The world no. 1 Japanese shuttler, who won the Malaysia Open last week, beat Spanish Clara Azurmendi in just 25 minutes. From the onset of the match, Yamaguchi started aggressively, collecting points from angled smashes and front-court drops, to take the first game 21-7.
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In the second game, Azurmendi’s effort to fight back faced a counterattack from the defending world champion, with the 25-year-old sealing the contest with a 21-11 win.
Meanwhile, Chinese title contender, the world no. 5 He Bingjiao, cruised to the pre-quarterfinals with a straight-game (21-16, 21-15) win over Denmark’s Line Kjaersfeldt.
In round of 16, Yamaguchi will take on world no. 10 Han Yue while Bingjiao will face South Korean Kim Ga-Eun.
In men’s singles, Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew, a former world champion, ended Kodai Naraoka’s campaign after trailing 18-21 in the first game. As Naraoka became erratic in the second game, Loh conceded mere nine points as he levelled the match at 21-9. Loh won the decider 21-7 to set up a pre-quarterfinal clash against Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark.
Earlier, Kunlavut Vitidsarn beat Ng Ka Long Angus 21-13, 21-13, while Anders Antonsen prevailed over Toma Junior Popov in an exciting three-game contest 18-21, 21-19, 21-13.
Vitidsarn and Antonsen will go head-to-head in the pre-quarterfinals on Thursday.