Top Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth entered the round of 16 after defeating Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei in the ongoing Japan Open 2023 badminton tournament here on Tuesday. World Championship silver medalist Srikanth will take on compatriot HS Prannoy in the Japan Open 2023 pre-quarterfinals on Thursday.
Former world no. No. 1 Srikanth defeated Chou Tien 21-13, 21-13 in a Round of 32 match that lasted 43 minutes. This is Srikanth’s second win over the Chinese Taipei shuttler in eight meetings. Srikanth started the match by racing to a 5-0 lead. Though Chou managed to come back to 10-8, the Indian did not slip-up. At 17-13, Srikanth won the next four points to win the first game. He used that momentum to get to an early 5-1 lead in the second game. Chou did manage to reduce the deficit to 6-4, but Srikanth again ceased control and started to dictate rallies. Eventually, at 16-13, Srikanth won the next five points on the trot to seal the second game and the match.
On the other hand, eighth seed Prannoy, 10th in the badminton rankings, defeated world No. 7 and reigning All England champion Li Shi Feng of the Republic of China in 49 minutes. It was the Indian’s third straight win over the Chinese shuttler.
Meanwhile, in the women’s singles, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand staged a comeback. They beat Japanese duo Sayaka Hobara and Yui Suizu Japan 11-21, 21-15, 21-14 in a little over an hour to advance to the pre-quarterfinals. While Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu, currently ranked 17, will take the court on Wednesday. The Indian badminton player will be up against world No. 18 Zhang Yiman of China in her opening match of the Japan Open 2023.
However, Aakarshi Kashyap lost to top seed Akane Yamaguchi 17-21, 17-21 in the opening round of women’s singles. While in mixed doubles, Rohan Kapoor and Sikki Reddy lost 21-18, 9-21, 18-21 to Chinese Taipei’s Ye Hong Wei and Lee Chia Hsin.
Results at the Japan Open 2023 will count towards players’ qualifying rankings for the Paris 2024 Olympics. The qualification window for badminton started on May 1 this year.