Pranaav-Sikki lose in Japan Open semis

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Tokyo, Sep 23 (IANS) India’s mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy lost in the semi-finals of the $325,000 Japan Open Superseries badminton championships here on Saturday.

The Indian pair lost 21-14, 15-21, 19-21 in 59 minutes to Japanese qualifiers Takuro Hoki and Sayaka Hirota.

Hoki-Hirota will battle Chinese pair of Wang Yilv and Huang Dongpin in the final on Sunday.

The performance of Pranaav and Sikki was the only positive for India in Tokyo as Olympic silver medallists P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal fell in the second round on Thursday while the likes of Kidambi Srikanth and H.S. Prannoy were defeated in the quarter-finals.

Parupalli Kashyap had failed to qualify for the main draw on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the men’s singles final will be fought between Malaysian veteran Lee Chong Wei and Denmark’s reigning world champion Viktor Axelsen.

Chong Wei moved past Chinese second seed Shi Yuqi with a 21-19, 21-8 win in 39 minutes, while Axelsen brushed aside South Korean top seed 21-16, 21-16 in 46 minutes.

Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain reached the women’s singles final as she got a walkover from recently crowned world champion and local favourite Nozomi Okuhara. The Japanese had fitness issues.

Marin will face defending champion He Bingjiao of China. The sixth seeded Chinese defeated compatriot Chen Yufei 21-14, 25-23 in 53 minutes.

“Marin is an excellent player. She is always relentless, no matter in good or bad conditions…She is very good at attacking. I will try to do my best in defence on Sunday,” Bingjiao was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

–IANS

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