Afternoon Voice

Manu-Sumeeth shock Olympic silver medallists at Japan Open

Indian men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy stunned Olympic silver medallists Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong of Malaysia to enter the quarterfinals of the USD 700,000 Japan Open badminton tournament on Wednesday.

National champions Manu and Sumeeth, who had defeated the Malaysian pair at Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in 2015, saved a match point in the second game and came back from a 17-19 deficit to upset world number 10 V Shem and Tan Wee 15-21 23-21 21-19 in a 54-minute battle.

The Indian pair will face China’s He Jiting and Tan Qiang next in the BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament.

On a day when only the men’s doubles and women’s doubles matches were held, Indian pairs of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy bowed out of the tournament after losing their respective matches.

Commonwealth Games silver medallists Satwik and Chirag went down 12-21, 17-21 to third seeded Japanese pair of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda, while Ashwini and Sikki lost 17-21 13-21 to Korean combination of Chang Ye Na and Jung Kyung Eun in women’s doubles.

In the pre-quarterfinals, Sindhu will face China’s Gao Fangjie, while Prannoy will take on Indonesia’s World No. 10 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, who had stunned Japan’s formidable Kento Momota and Olympic champion Chen Long at the 18th Asian Games.

Indian mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy will face Malaysian combination of Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying.