Sindhu, Pawar begin well

World no. 10 P.V. Sindhu entered the second round without much ado but it was Anand Pawar and K. Srikanth who created a flutter at the Japan Open badminton as they notched up stunning victories over their higher-ranked opponents in the men’s singles competition here.
Sindhu, seeded eighth, brushed aside local shuttler Yukino Nakai 21-12 ,21-13 in less than half an hour to set up a clash with another Japanese qualifier Akane Yamaguchi in the women’s singles second round on Thursday.
However, it was Pawar who hogged the limelight when he scripted a 21-17, 7-21, 21-18 victory over world no. 12 Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro, also a 2004 Athens Olympics bronze medallist.
The 59-minute battle saw world no. 37 Pawar riding on his clear winners to tackle Kuncoro, who had clinched the silver and bronze medals at the World Championship in 2007 and 2009, respectively.
Thailand GP Gold winner Srikanth, who had been in rollicking form of late, also continued his giant-killing act here when he eked out a hard-fought 22-20, 22-24, 21-18 over world no. 22 Sho Sasaki of Japan in a hour and eight minute match.
Srikanth rode on his powerful smashes and also gave Sho a good fight at the nets to carve out the victory, which helped him set up a face-off with Japanese qualifier Kazuteru Kozai, who stunned second seed and world no. 2 Chen Long of China in another match.
Among others, Ajay Jayaram prevailed over Chinese Taipei’s Tien Chen Chou 21-11, 21-18 in another men’s singles match but Sourabh Verma and Sai Praneeth B. failed to cross the first hurdle.
While Jun Takemura of Japan spoilt Sourabh’s campaign with a difficult 22-24, 21-19, 21-14 win, Sai Praneeth’s fight against eighth seed Yun Hu of Hong Kong ended with a disappointing 21-23, 18-21 loss.
It was also the end of road for Tanvi Lad as she went down 15-21, 10-21 to Sayaka Takahashi of Japan in the opening match.
India’s men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy B., however, entered the second round with a 21-17, 21-15 win over the local combo of Hiroyuki Saeki and Ryota Taohata in the opening round match.

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