Rising Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu entered the second round without much ado but it was Anand Pawar and K. Srikanth who created a flutter at the Japan Open as they notched up stunning victories over higher-ranked opponents in men’s singles.
Sindhu, seeded eighth, brushed aside local shuttler Yukino Nakai 21-12, 21-13 in less than half an hour to set up a clash with another Japanese qualifier Akane Yamaguchi.
Pawar first hogged the limelight scripting a 21-17, 7-21, 21-18 victory over World No. 12 Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro, also a 2004 Athens Olympics bronze medallist.
The 59-minute battle saw World No. 37 Pawar riding on his clear winners to tackle Kuncoro. Thailand Grand Prix gold winner Srikanth, who had been in rollicking form in the Indian Badminton League, also continued his giant-killing act when he eked out a 22-20, 22-24, 21-18 win over World No. 22 Sho Sasaki of Japan in an hour and eight minutes.
Among others, Ajay Jayaram prevailed over Chinese Taipei’s Tien Chen Chou 21-11, 21-18 in another men’s singles match but Sourabh Verma and Sai Praneeth failed to cross the first hurdle.
The results (involving Indians): Men’s singles: Anand Pawar bt Sony Dwi Kuncoro 21-17, 7-21, 21-18; K. Srikanth bt Sho Sasaki 22-20, 22-24, 21-18; Ajay Jayaram bt Tien Chen Chou 21-11, 21-18; H.S. Prannoy bt Wing Ki Wong 15-21, 21-17, 24-22; Jun Takemura bt Sourabh Verma 22-24, 21-19, 21-14; Yun Hub t Sai Praneeth 21-23, 18-21.
Women’s singles: P.V. Sindhu bt Yukino Nakai 21-12, 21-13; Sayaka Takahashi bt Tanvi Lad 21-15, 21-10.
Men’s doubles: Manu Attri & Sumeeth Reddy bt Hiroyuki Saeki & Ryota Taohata 21-17, 21-15. — PTI