Prannoy surpassed ninth-ranked Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen while K. Srikanth defeated Japan's Kazuteru Kozai in straight sets
Young Indian shuttlers K. Srikanth and H.S. Prannoy advanced to the quarterfinals of men’s singles competition in the Japan Open with superb wins but it was curtains for teen sensation P.V. Sindhu at the $200,000 Super Series event in Tokyo on Thursday.
World No 56 Prannoy, who has been in rollicking form in the Indian badminton League last month, once again punched above his weight, surpassing Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen, ranked ninth, 21-14 13-21 21-17 in a 53-minute match.
Srikanth, who has also acquired a giant-killing reputation with his recent exploits, continued his carnage, defeating Japan’s Kazuteru Kozai 21-12 21-16 in just over half an hour in another men’s singles match.
However, it was end of the road for Sindhu as the eighth-seeded Indian lost 6-21 17-21 to local shuttler Akane Yamaguchi in a 32-minute women’s singles match at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
India’s men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy B also could not get across the more experienced combo of fourth seeded Chinese Xiaolong Liu and Zihan Qiu and lost 17-21 16-21 in a 36-minute encounter.
The highlight of the day for India was Prannoy’s gritty performance as he rode on his mighty smashes and energetic display at the nets to tame the 25-year-old Dane, who had won the silver medal at 2010 European Badminton Championships.
Down 1-4 early on, Prannoy soon erased the deficit to catch up with Jorgensen and then charted his own way from 9-9 and used his smashes to good use to lead the match 1-0 after the first game.
Not ready to take it lying low, Jorgensen once again opened up a slender 4-2 lead and though the Indian had clawed back, the Dane was successful in breaking the deadlock at 9-9 and then maintaining the distance to comeback into the contest.
In the decider, it was Prannoy’s turn to hold the early lead and despite a gallant effort by Jorgensen to thwart his young rival’s challenge, the Indian was able to keep the match within his grasp. Leading 18-17, Prannoy grabbed the next three points to make his entry into the quarters.
Prannoy, who won the silver in the Boys’ singles event at the 2010 Youth Olympics, has been in good touch ever since making a comeback after being out of action due to an injury.
The 21-year-old had beaten some big names such as Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana in Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold and Taufik Hidayat in India Open.