Japan Open 2023: Sindhu crashes out in opener again

Tokyo: Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu’s poor run of form continued as she suffered a first round exit from the Japan Open 2023 badminton tournament at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, here.

Two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu, 17th in the women’s singles badminton rankings, lost 12-21, 13-21 to China’s Zhang Yi Man to make her seventh opening round exit in 13 BWF World Tour 2023 tournaments this year.

This was also Sindhu’s second straight opening round ouster after going down to Chinese Taipei’s Pai Yu Po in the Korea Open opener last week.

Zhang Yi Man, who is ranked one place lower than Sindhu, looked in control throughout the contest and eventually ended the match in 32 minutes to pick up her third victory over the Indian shuttler in five meetings.

Before the Japan Open opener, the two badminton players had faced each other twice this year. While Zhang got the better of Sindhu at the All England Open in March, it was the Indian who emerged the winner at the Malaysia Masters back in May.

Meanwhile, the star Indian men’s double pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, fresh off their Korea Open triumph last week, had to dig deep to advance to the second round in Japan.

Satwik-Chirag, who rose to a career-best world No. 2 recently, were stretched to three games by Indonesia’s Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin but eventually won the match 21-16, 11-21, 21-13.

On the other hand, Commonwealth Games 2022 men’s singles champion Lakshya Sen registered a thrilling 21-15, 12-21, 24-22 win against compatriot Priyanshu Rajawat. He will face Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama Lakshya Sen’s pre-quarterfinal. The Japanese shuttler upset Indonesian world No. 2 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the opening round.

Another Indian shuttler Mithun Manjunath conceded a lead to lose 21-13, 22-24, 18-21 to China’s Weng Hong Yang in the opening round of men’s singles.

Image courtesy of Twitter

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