Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen and world no 10 HS Prannoy chalked out contrasting victories over their rivals to move into the quarter-finals at the Japan Open Badminton tournament at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo on Thursday.
Ace doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Reddy also made it to the last eight after recording comfortable straight games win over Danish Duo Jeppe Bay and Lasse Molhede.
Prannoy had to battle it out to overpower compatriot and World no 20 Kidambi Srikanth in an all-Indian affair in three games. Prannoy lost the first game but staged a remarkable comeback winning next two games to emerge 19-21, 21-9, 21-9 winner.
Prannoy and Srikanth went toe-to-toe in an exhilarating opening game. With the scores tied at 18-all, Srikanth caught the momentum at the crucial juncture and took the opening game. A game down, Prannoy responded in style and took the next two games with a comprehensive margin to seal the match in 57 minutes.
This was His third win over Srikanth in nine head-to-head meetings. Interestingly, Prannoy’s last win over his senior compatriot before this fixture came at the 2019 Japan Open.
Lakshya Sen, on the other hand had very little trouble in his round of 16 match and dispatched Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama by a 21-14, 21-16 scoreline. Tsuneyama, an Asian Games bronze medallist, upset Indonesian world No. 2 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the opening round.
Another Japanese shuttler, Kiko Watanabe, will be Lakshya’s next opponent.
Winner of the Korea Open doubles title last week, Satwik and Chirag defeated Jeppe Bay and Lasse Molhede 21-17, 21-11. The Indians will face reigning Olympic champions Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin of Chinese Taipei in the quarters.
The Women’s doubles duo of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, bowed out after losing a close match against Japan’s Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida 21-23,19-21. Results at the Japan Open will count towards players’ qualifying rankings for the Paris 2024 Olympics.