Kashyap advances, Saina, Prannoy ousted

Tokyo, Sep 10 (IANS) Reigning Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap remained the only Indian at the $275,000 Japan Open Superseries as top badminton stars Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and H.S. Prannoy and lost their respective second round matches here on Thursday.

Kashyap had to fight against compatriot and friend Srikanth, beating the third seed 21-11, 21-19 in 45 minutes to enter the men’s singles quarterfinals at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. This was the World No.8’s second victory in as many meetings over his city mate.

Kashyap, who turned 29 on Tuesday, will next take on Chinese Taipei’s sixth seed Chou Tien Chen against whom the Hyderabadi has a 2-1 record in career meetings. However, the last time they faced each other, it was Chen who came out on top in a straight games victory at the All England Open in March.

World No.1 Saina, on the other hand, suffered a shock exit from the second round of women’s singles at the hands of unseeded Minatsu Mitani. The Japanese girl took full advantage of playing at home with the support of the crowd to beat the second seed 21-13, 21-16 in only 40 minutes.

This was World No.18 Minatsu’s only third win over the Indian in eight meetings.

Later, South Korean Lee Dong Keun accounted for the loss of Prannoy, beating the Indian 21-9, 21-16 in only 43 minutes.

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