Japan Open: Lakshya storms into third semis of the season; Satwik-Chirag crash out

Tokyo (Japan), July 28 (IANS) Canada Open 2023 winner Lakshya Sen stormed into his third successive semifinal on the BWF World Tour but India suffered a setback as the in-form men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty crashed out in the quarterfinals of the Japan Open here on Friday.

Lakshya, who reached the semifinals of the US Open before losing to All-England 2023 champion Li Shi Feng on July 16, defeated Koki Watanabe of Japan in straight games, 21-15, 21-19 in a 47-minute clash on Court 2 at the Yoyogi 1st Gymnasium in the Japanese capital.

In the men’s doubles quarterfinal, the third seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty went down to Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin of the Chinese Taipei, losing in three sets 15-21, 25-23, 16-21 in a 70 minutes encounter.

The world no. 13 Lakshya Sen, who defeated China’s Li Shi Feng in the final to win the Canada Open on July 16, kept the Indian flag flying in this BWF World Tour Super 750 event with a commanding performance against home-favourite Koki Watanabe.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist continued his superb run on the tour and will face the winner between Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn and Jonatan Christie of Indonesia for a place in the summit clash.

H.S. Prannoy, India’s other men’s singles player still in contention, will take on top-seed and former World Champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the quarterfinals later in the day.

–IANS

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