Japan Open badminton: Sindhu, Prannoy crash out

P V Sindhu
World No. 3 P V Sindhu went down to Chinese teenager Gao Fangjie in straight games. AFP
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Tokyo: Fatigue caught up with India's premier shuttler P V Sindhu as she was upstaged in straight games, but Kidambi Srikanth entered quarterfinals of the $700,000 Japan Open here on Thursday.

Sindhu was beaten by China's Gao Fangjie in the women's singles second round, her first preliminary exit in almost a year. The Indian went down fighting 18-21, 19-21 in 55 minutes to the world No. 14 Chinese. She had lost in the opening round at the Denmark Open last October.

World No. 1 Tai loses

It was also curtains for world No.1 and Asian Games gold medallist Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei. World No. 33 Chen Xiaoxin of China pulled off a 21-18, 21-14 upset win over Tai.

Former world No.1 Srikanth, however, didn't break a sweat as he avenged his Asian Games loss to Hong Kong's Wong Wing Ki Vincent with a clinical 21-15, 21-14 victory to enter the men's singles quarterfinals.

The seventh-seeded Indian, who won a silver at the Commonwealth Games, will face Korea's Lee Dong Keun next.

However, it was curtains for the other Indian in the men's draw, H S Prannoy, as he went down to giant-killer Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.

The world No.10 Indonesian defeated formidable Japanese Kento Momota and Olympic champion Chen Long at the Asian Games.

Sindhu, who has endured a hectic season reaching five finals including three majors at CWG, World Championship and Asian Games, seemed mentally drained as errors crept into her game.

The Indian put up a fight as she recovered from 2-8 down in the opening game but squandered a 17-14 lead. She was also 15-20 down in the second game but managed to save four match points before once again hitting the net to hand over the match to Gao.

In doubles, the men's pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy lost 18-21, 21-16, 12-21 to China's He Jiting and Tan Qiang, while the duo of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy lost 16-21 16-21 to the Malaysian pair of Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying in mixed doubles.

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