Kidambi Srikanth’s poor run of form continued as the Indian shuttler crashed out of the Japan Open after suffering a defeat at the hands of compatriot HS Prannoy on Wednesday. It was a disappointment for Sameer Verma as well, who went down in straight sets against Denmark’s Anders Antonsen in another men’s singles clash. The unseeded Indian lost 17-21, 12-21 in the match that lasted 46 minutes.
Prannoy stunned the higher ranked Srikanth 13-21, 21-11, 22-20 in a match that lasted 59 minutes at the BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament. The eighth seed Srikanth, who holds a superior head-to-head record against Prannoy, started of well clinching the first game 21-13.
However, the unseeded Prannoy came back strongly taking the second game 21-11. The decider went down to the wire with Prannoy having the last laugh. In the third set which was a closely fought affair, Prannoy clinched the game 22-20 to advance into the next round. He will face Rasmus Gemke of Denmark in the second round.
Srikanth, the former world No. 1, has been struggling for consistency this season. He made a second-round exit from the Indonesia Open last week.
It was curtains for the mixed doubles Indian pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy as well. In the doubles, Indian pair was defeated by Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiaong 11-21, 14-21.
The duo went down 11-21, 14-21 to the Chinese combination of Zhend Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiaong in just 26 minutes.
Later in the day, PV Sindhu will begin her campaign against China’s Yue Han.