Sai Praneeth advances at Japan Open Tournament

Vastavam web: Indian shuttler B. Sai Praneeth started off his Japan Open 2019 campaign on a winning note as he registered a comprehensive straight-games victory over Japan’s Kento Nishimoto in the opening round of the $750,000 tournament here on Tuesday. Praneeth, who didn’t have as great a run in the recently-concluded Indonesia Open losing to Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent, defeated Nishimoto 21-17, 21-13 in the first-round contest that lasted just for 42 minutes.Praneeth had pulled out of the last edition of this tournament and he came out with a confident performance this time around.

In the mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy also advanced to the second round with an easy win over Germany’s Linda Efler and Marvin Seidel. The Indian pair defeated the duo of Efler-Seidel 21-14, 21-19 in 33 minutes. However, there was disappointment in the men’s doubles event as India’s Attri Manu and Reddy B. Sumeeth lost to the Malaysian pair of Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin 12-21, 16-21 in a match when was played for less than an hour.

On Wednesday, ace Indian shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth will begin their tournament campaign in their respective events. Sindhu will face China’s Yue Han, while Srikanth will lock horns with compatriot H.S. Prannoy in an all-Indian opening round battle. The duo has faced each other five times so far in the international circuit with Srikanth having the last laugh in the past four occasions. Sameer Verma, who had missed the Indonesia Open due to a shoulder problem, will compete with Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in his opening round clash.

If she crosses the opening hurdle, Sindhu will face either Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour or Japan’s Aya Ohori in the second round. The fifth seed will also aim to avenge her final loss to Yamaguchi as she is likely to face the world no 4 Japanese in the quarterfinals. The USD 750,000 tournament will also see the return of Saina Nehwal, who had missed the Indonesia Open Super 1000 event due to fitness issues.