It turned out to be a mixed day for Indian shuttlers at the ongoing Japan Super Series for India. Ajay Jayaram, H S Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth fought their way into the second round with a brilliant display of badminton. However, rising star B Sai Praneeth, winner of the recently concluded Canada Open crashed out. He lost to NG Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong in a nail-biting clash which ended with a scoreline of 21-9,21-23,10-21.
- The Matches :
Coming to a review of the matches, Ajay Jayaram defeated Indonesia’s Sony Kuncoro in a pulsating match. This 21-19, 23-21 victory avenged his loss to the same opponent at the 2013 Hong Kong Open. Coming to the other match, H.S. Prannoy had to show some intestinal fortitude to overcome the stiff resistance offered by Malaysia’s Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin. He triumphed 23-21,19-21,21-18. Also, the rising star from Guntur, K. Srikanth moved into the next round at the expense of compatriot Parupalli Kashyap with a 14-21, 21-14, 23-21 win. Kashyap pulled off a brilliant match even though this was his second tournament after coming back from a career-threatening injury.
- Upcoming contests :
Jayaram will now lock horns with Srikanth in what promises to be an exciting contest. In a previous encounter between the two, Srikanth had put an end to Jayaram’s dream run at the Denmark Open Super series. He demolished him 21-10, 21-14 in that match. Jayaram would definitely like to make amends this time around. In another highly anticipated encounter, Prannoy will take on Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen, who won the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics and is in rollicking form.
If things go India’s way, we could find two Indians among the quarter-finalists in the tournament. This is indeed a good development for Indian badminton. The Sportsrush wishes its Indian contingent of shuttlers good luck for the second round.