Japan Open: Prannoy, Srikanth storm into quarters

India's H. S. Prannoy beat Hsu Jen Hao 21-16 23-21 in straight games to advance while Kidambi Srikanth needed only 29 minutes to demolish Hu Yun of Hong Kong 21-12, 21-11.

India's H.S. Prannoy in action against Hsu Jen Hao.   -  AFP

India's H.S. Prannoy continued his fantastic run in the Japan Open Super Series as he beat Taiwan's Hsu Jen Hao 21-16, 23-21 in a pulsating pre-quarterfinal match in Tokyo on Thursday.

Later, compatriot Kidambi Srikanth joined Prannoy in the last-eight when he brushed aside Hong Kong's Hu Yun's challenge in less than half-an-hour to win 21-12, 21-11.

Srikanth displayed immaculate attacking gameplay and looked in good touch and comfortable at the net too. Srikanth will meet reigning world champion Viktor Axelsen in the quarterfinals.

Prannoy raced to an early lead in the first game and before Hao could crawl back the Indian wrapped the game in style. Prannoy, however, overcame some hiccups in the second game when Hao took a three-point lead at 7-4 but the Indian, with deft placements, grabbed the lead again.

Tied 20-20 in the second game, Prannoy gave nothing away and won 23-21 to storm into the quarterfinals.

Earlier, India got off to a horrid start when Satwiksairaj and Ashwini Ponnappa lost to Indonesia's Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto 29-27, 16-21, 21-12.

Although the Indian pair comfortably won the second game to force the decider, the Indonesians were far too good as Ashwini and Satwik found the going tough to surrender the match.

Later, Sameer Verma won his opening game in no time against China's Shi Yuqi 21-10 but his opponent was too strong for him as the Chinese bounced back to restore parity by winning the second game 21-17.

Yuqi then made a mincemeat of Verma's challenge by winning the decider 21-15 and surged into the quarterfinals.

Ponnappa and Rankireddy advance

Among others, the mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy played their heart out before losing 27—29 21—16 12—21 to Indonesian fourth seeds Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto in a match that lasted an hour and six minutes.


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