India started decently on the first day of the Japan Open with B Sai Praneeth beating one of the local favourites Kenta Nishimoto in the first round to advance into the pre-quarters of the men’s singles event. While A Ponnappa and S Rankireddy also won their match, M Attri and B S Reddy lost theirs.
The first match of the day was that of the men’s singles event when Praneeth took on Nishimoto. After a dismal show by the men in the Indonesia Open, the contingent was under pressure to perform and Praneeth calmed the nerves.
Praneeth started strongly opening a five-point lead at 6-11 in the first game before the Japanese shuttler made his way back to equal things at 13-13. However, that wasn’t enough as the Indian sealed the first game with a 21-17 win. The second game was expected to be tougher but the Japanese just withered away instead, losing it 21-13.
Mixed doubles has been another department where India have hardly progressed and very little were expected of Ashwini Ponnappa and Swastiksairaj Rankireddy. However, they stunned the German mixed doubles duo of Marvin Seidel and Linda Efler winning it 21-14, 21-19 and advance into the next round.
Everything was going too fine for India in an ATP 750 event and normalcy set in when the men's doubles duo of B Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy lost 12-21, 16-21 in the hands of Malaysian duo Goh Sze Feh and Nur Izzuddin.