Japan Open: Lakshya, Satwik-Chirag storm into quarterfinals; Treesa-Gayatri ousted

Tokyo (Japan), July 27 (IANS) India’s former World Championship bronze medallist Lakshya Sen stormed into the men’s singles quarterfinals of the Japan Open on Thursday, beating Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in straight games in a second-round clash here.

The 21-year-old Sen, currently ranked 13th in World Rankings, defeated Tsuneyama 21-14, 21-16 in a 50-minute encounter in the BWF World Tour Super 750 event which has a total prize fund of USD 800,000.

In men’s doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who won the Korea Open last week, also advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Denmark’s pair of Jepp Bay and Lasse Molhedge 21-17, 21-11 in straight sets.

However, India suffered a setback as the top women’s doubles pair of Treesa Jolly and Pullela Gayatri Gopichand lost to the World No.7 pair of Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida from Japan, 21-23, 19-21 in just under an hour.

Playing on Court 1 at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Lakshya Sen took an early lead in the first game and opened up a 5-1 lead. Though his Japanese opponent reduced the margin to 7-5, Sen won the next five points in a row to extend it to 12-5. Tsuneyama again fought back to cut down the lead to 16-14, the Indian shuttler won five consecutive points to win the game.

The second game was closer as the players went neck-and-neck till 6-6 before Sen surged ahead to 10-7. Tsuneyama reduced the margin to 12-11 as they fought hard for each point till 16-16 before Lakshya won the next five points to win the game and match in 50 minutes.

On the adjacent Court 2, Satwik and Chirag opened a 5-2 lead in the first game and maintained the edge and they went ahead 10-6 soon. The Danes levelled scores at 12-12 and the two pairs went neck and neck till 15-14 before the Indians surged ahead to 19-14 and went on to win the game 21-17.

In the second game, the Danes opened a 5-2 lead, but the Indians caught up with them at 5-5 before opening a 9-5 lead winning seven points in a row. From 11-8, Satwik and Chirag claimed the next six points to open up a 17-8 lead and went on to win the game 21-11.

–IANS

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