Okuhara sets up rematch against Sindhu at Japan Open

Kidambi Srikanth defeated Chinese Tian Houwei in Round 1 of Japan Open Superseries badminton

Fresh from winning the Korea Open last Sunday with a marathon effort, P.V Sindhu kick started her Japan Super Series Open with a 12-21, 21-15, 21- 17 win over Japan's Minatsu Mitani in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Making a positive start to their campaign at the ongoing Japan Open, Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma won their respective matches to enter to the second round.

The fourth seeded Indian, who is primed to reclaim World No 2 spot after winning Korea Open Super Series title last week, defeated Minatsu Mitani of Japan after losing the first game, in three gruelling games.

The World No. 12 will now square off against Spain's Carolina Marin.

London Olympics bronze medallist Saina will take on reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the next round.

Sindhu, who faced a heartbreaking loss to the same opponent in the final of the BWF World Championship last month, toiled her way to a 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 win, and termed her victory over the Japanese as "sweet revenge".

Nehwal has a 4-3 record against Marin, having lost thrice in the last four meetings.

Srikanth and Sameer on the other hand fought hard; Srikanth defeated Tian Houwei 21-15, 12-21, 21-11 while Sameer ousted Khosit Phetpradab 21-12, 21-19. After this win, Srikanth, India's best bet in the men's singles category, will take on Chinese Hu Yun.

US Open GP Gold champion H.S. Prannoy and Syed Modi GP victor Sameer Verma also advanced with straight-game victories. The Indian will face Chinese Taipei's Hsu Jen Hao for a place in the quarter-finals. Sameer will meet Shi Yuqi of Japan on Thursday.

However, Satwik and his men's doubles partner Chirag Shetty couldn't get across third seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia, going down 27-25, 21-15 in another pulsating contest.

In women's doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy were beaten 17-21, 12-21 by the third seeds Chang Ye Na and Lee So Hee.

Fast-rising doubles player Satwiksairaj Rankireddy advanced to the mixed doubles second round along with experienced Ashwini Ponnappa after defeating Thailand's Tinn Isriyanet and Pacharapun Chochuwong 21-17, 21-13.

Okuhara made several errors throughout the match that gave her opponent hope, but didn't lose control.

The senior Indian pair of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy also fell in the first round.



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