Sai Praneeth was the only Indian to qualify for the semi-finals of the Super 750 Japan Open played on Friday. PV Sindhu and the men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were knocked out.
Sindhu lost again to arch-rival Akane Yamaguchi 18-21, 15-21. In the first game, both players started on equal footing to be level at 4-4. Then Sindhu took 5 points in succession to take a 9-4 lead. At the interval, the 2-time World Championship silver medallist led 11-7. Yamaguchi came back from 7-12 down to level the scores at 12-12 and then did not look back as she led throughout the remainder of the game to pocket it at 21-18.
In the second game, Sindhu committed a lot of unforced errors which the Japanese took advantage of. At the interval, Yamaguchi led 11-7. After the interval, she played with aggression and never allowed the Indian to play her natural shots and won the second game 21-15 to move into the semi-finals.
Sai Praneeth defeated Indonesian Tommy Sugiarto 21-12, 21-15 to move into the semi-finals. It was a dominating performance by Sai who looked aggressive right from the word go and made life tough for the Indonesian. In both the games, the opponent had no answer to his attacking shots and placements. He will take on Kento Momota of Japan in the semi-finals who defeated Anthony Ginting of Indonesia in another quarter-final match.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty went down fighting to number 2 seeds, Kamura and Sonoda of Japan 19-21, 18-21. In the first game, the Indians created pressure on the Japanese pair with powerful smashes. At the interval, the Indian pair led 11-7. After the break, both pairs fought for each point till 19-19 before the Japanese held their nerves to win the first game at 21-19.
In the second game, the Indian pair had a great start, but the Japanese duo made a strong comeback to take a 7-5 lead. Rankireddy and Shetty levelled the scores at 8-8 and took a slender 11-10 lead at the interval. After the break, the Japanese pair’s experience helped them to overcome the resistance of the young Indian pair to take points in succession and win the second game at 21-18.Published 26 Jul 2019, 17:08 IST