Japan Open 2019 Quarterfinals: Sai Praneeth enters semis; Sindhu, Rankireddy-Shetty pair crash out

Catch all the updates from the USD 750,000 Daihatsu Yonex Japan Open 2019 from the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza at Tokyo in Japan.

Fourth seed Japan's Akane Yamaguchi downs P.V. Sindhu 21-18, 21-15 to enter the Japan Open semifinals.

Fourth seed Japan's Akane Yamaguchi downs P.V. Sindhu 21-18, 21-15 to enter the Japan Open semifinals.   -  Getty Images

Good morning! Hello and welcome to the highlights of the Japan Open 2019 at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza.

 

Musashino Forest Sport Plaza - 1

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy /Chirag Shetty vs Takeshi Kamura / Keigo Sonoda

01:39 PM: And that is the end of the road for Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty as well. 41 minutes was what it took for Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda to gift themselves a victory in straight games: 21-19, 21-18.

01:36 PM: 19-15. The Japanese are just two points away from a second semifinal entry at their home event. They had last entered the semifinals in 2017.

01:34 PM: 17-14 to the Japanese. A miscalculation of power onto that shot from Rankireddy sees it sail out of the court.

01:32 PM: 15-12 to Sonoda and Kamura. It is happening all over again.

01:29 PM: 11-10. Advantage of a point to Rankireddy and Chirag. They'd however hope to convert it into a win in this game.

01:26 PM: 8-all! Rankireddy's well-judged smash sees the Indian pair make up for the three-point deficit earlier.

01:23 PM: Service over. 7-5 to Japan. How could Chirag let that go? Sonoda plays at the net. Chirag waits for it but ends up slamming it onto the net. A freebie, one would say...

01:20 PM: 3-2 to India thanks to an excellent placement from Rankireddy. Sonoda's attempted backhand defence goes in vain.

01:17 PM: From a six-point deficit at 13-7 to winning the first game 21-19 what a recovery this has been for the second-seeded Chinese pair of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda.

01:15 PM: 19-all. That's fabulous from Sonoda. Shetty's constant egging on with "Maar Reddy maar" chants go in vain as Sonoda fires one at the edge of the court. Reddy was clueless.

01:12 PM: And now from nowhere, Sonoda and Rankireddy have taken the lead. 17-16. It really has been a day of celebration for Japan at the court.

01:09 PM: Kamura and Sonoda taking more initiative now as they have gradually sauntered their way up. India: 15-14 says the scoreline after Rankireddy rues a missed opportunity.

01:06 PM: 14-10, India leads.  That was the longest rally of the match: 42 shots. Both sides have slammed their "aggression" button on. What a joy to watch!

01:04 PM: Kamura looks to play a forehand defence but Chirag slams one at the body. There was absolutely no way that the Japanese could pull that off. 13-8 to India!

01:02 PM: Chirag Shetty is breathing fire on the court! 10-6 in favour of the Indian pair as the last shot whizzed past Kamura like a bullet.

12:59 PM: Rankireddy and Shetty going all offensive on their Japanese opponents: 7-4, thanks to a powerful smash from Rankireddy.

 

Musashino Forest Sport Plaza - 1

P. V. Sindhu [5] vs Akane Yamaguchi [4]

 

12: 46 PM: 21-15 says the score after the second game and Yamaguchi has done it AGAIN, within a week. She will meet China's Chen Yu Fei in the semifinals.

12:44 PM: Sindhu loses her challenge and a point to Yamaguchi as well. The giant screen says "Out"! Yamaguchi leads 19-13.

12:40 PM: Sindhu takes a point, thanks to a thundering smash aimed at the edge of the court. But is it too late? The score reads 16-11 in favour of Yamaguchi.

12:36 PM: And well, if you are a Sindhu fan you would be a bit concerned right now. A flat push to the other end was what Yamaguchi needed. That's the height doing the trick, I would say. 14-8 to Yamaguchi.

12:34 PM: Yamaguchi has a four point advantage in the second game now. 11-7!

"Yamaguchi! Yamaguchi!" chants the crowd.

12:31 PM: 8-6, another 29-shot rally which culminates in a point for Yamaguchi. The Japanese fans go wild! They have turned up in huge numbers today...

12:28 PM: Well played! Puts pressure on Yamaguchi during the service return: Full power to the body. Yamaguchi leads 6-5 but if you know Sindhu, you do know that she doesn't let go easily.

12:26 PM: 24-shots in that rally... Sindhu bags the third point in the second game forcing Yamaguchi into committing an error. 5-3

12:21 PM: The former champion takes the opening game. Sindhu tries to go for a net shot but finds the net instead. But what a helluva game this was! 21-18 it is, in favour of Akane Yamaguchi.

12:20 PM: Sindhu smashes her way to 18 points. Yamaguchi on 20.

12:18 PM: 19-15 to Yamaguchi! An epic conclusion to a 29-shot rally sees Yamaguchi playing twice at the net to pocket another point. Precious!

12:16 PM: 18-15 to Yamaguchi. How on earth did Yamaguchi do that? It is absolutely madness down here. She has recovered and how! Another smash, but this time to the left of Sindhu: wide but well in.

12:12 PM: 15-14 to Yamaguchi. Woah! Goodness me... Yamaguchi betters the last smash this time. Swirls it over the shoulder and, Sindhu, again, has been caught unaware.

12:11 PM: 14-all! What a comeback from the Japanese shuttler. Sindhu's shot crashes onto the nets.

12:08 PM: 13-11, Yamaguchi rains down a terrific smash! Sindhu had absolutely no answer for that.

12:06 PM: 12-7, Sindhu takes a lead of five points now. Yamaguchi hasn't unleashed her offensive game yet.

12:02 PM: 9-5! Seeded fifth at Japan Open, the Indian shuttler looks to be in fine touch today. Six straight points in favour of P.V. Sindhu after which Yamaguchi plays one at the nets. Sindhu was too far out to get to that.

12:00 noon: 5-4 to Sindhu. Yamaguchi miscalculates the power on that lofted shot. Out!

11:58 AM: 3-2 to Yamaguchi! Sindhu forces Yamaguchi to dive to her right and the World No. 2 does it with so much ease. A joy to watch!

11:55 AM: And it begins! Yamaguchi serves. Sindhu gets the first point.
 

Musashino Forest Sport Plaza - 3

Tommy Sugiarto vs Sai Praneeth B.

 

8:56 AM: That's it! 21-15. Praneeth continues fine run, enters semifinals in just 36 minutes.

8:50 AM: Praneeth is on course for another victory here, 16-12.

8:45 AM: Sugiarto is putting up a brave fight here, trying to catch up; 12-9.

8:41 AM: Sai is leading the second game 7-4.

8:37 AM: Sai Praneeth clinches first game 21-12. The Indian has been in a splendid form since the first round and he continues to be unstoppable.

8:25 AM: Sai is jumping points. He seems to be in a hurry to finish this off.

8:15 AM: Sai is smashing like there is no tomorrow, leaving no margin for errors against Sugiarto.

 

Here is a quick recap of the second round matches that took place on Thursday:

Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu and B Sai Praneeth moved into the quarterfinals of Japan Open badminton tournament after registering contrasting wins but it was curtains for H S Prannoy on Thursday.

While fifth seed Sindhu had to toil hard in an hour-long battle to get the better of unseeded Japanese Aya Ohori 11-21 21-10 21-13 in a second round women’s singles match, Praneeth sailed past another local shuttler, Kanta Tsuneyama, 21-13 21-16 in a men’s singles encounter that lasted 45 minutes.

Prannoy, who knocked out compatriot Kidambi Srikanth in the opening round, though crashed out of the men’s singles event after going down to Rasmus Gemke of Denmark 9-21 15-21 in the second round.

Her latest result at the BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament extended Sindhu’s head-to-head record to 8-0 over Ohori.

Sindhu will next face the winner of the match between China’s Chen Xiao Xin and fourth seeded Japanese Akane Yamaguchi, to whom she lost in the final of the Indonesia Open last week.

Sai Praneeth will face Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto in the men’s singles last-eight round.

It was good news for India in the men’s doubles event as the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty made it to the quarterfinals after emerging victorious in a tough three-game second round affair in 53 minutes.

The Indian pair came from a game down to quell the challenge of China’s Kai Xiang Huang and Cheng Liu 15-21 21-11 21-19 and set up a quarterfinal clash with second seeded local combination of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda.

It was curtains for India in the mixed doubles event as the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa lost 16-21 17-21 to fourth seeds Dechapol Puavaranukkroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand in the second round.

In the match between Sindhu and Ohori, the Rio Olympics silver medallist Indian shuttler was slow to get off the blocks as the local girl came out on top in the early exchanges to race to a 5-1 and then 11-5 lead at the break.

Sindhu took it easy in the first game and it worked in Ohori’s favour as the Indian committed a lot of unforced errors.

An error-prone Sindhu never looked in the contest initially as she kept hitting the net or the shuttle landed outside the court, enabling Ohori to pocket the first game comfortably.

In the second game too, Sindhu struggled initially before finding her bearings. Trailing 0-2, the Indian made a great comeback to draw level and then took the lead for the first time in the contest.

Once she managed to take a 3-2 lead, there was no looking back for Sindhu as she kept on extending her domination to grab the second game, roaring back into the contest in style.

Sindhu continued in the same vein in the decider and surged ahead 3-1 and then 8-4 before Ohori clinched four straight points to level the scores at 8 apiece. But Sindhu lifted her game and won six consecutive points to take a 14-8 lead.

World No. 23 Praneeth, on the other hand, had a relatively easy outing against higher-ranked Tsuneyama (17th).

There was hardly anything to differentiate the two shuttlers as they fought hard for the first 13 points before Praneeth took the game away from his opponent with superior on-court display.

Praneeth carried on the confidence in the next game and raced to a 4-0 lead before the Japanese mounted a fightback to level the scores.

Thereafter, it was a dog fight between the two shuttlers till 16 points before Tsuneyama lost his concentration and Praneeth took full advantage of the opportunity, pocketing five straight points to seal it in his favour.

 

Where to watch the matches in India?

The Japan Open matches will be telecast live on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 2 HD. You can also live stream the matches on Hotstar.