On day two of the Japan Open Super 750 in Osaka, India's men's singles and doubles campaigns got off to a shaky start, as Commonwealth Games winner Lakshya Sen and BWF World Championships quarter-finalist combo MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila both fell out in the first round matches on Tuesday.
Kidambi Srikanth, on the other hand, immediately turned things around, defeating Malaysian shuttler Lee Zii Jia in straight games, 22-20, 23-21, to move to the next round. Srikanth, who had battled with the form at the Commonwealth Games and World Championships, stormed into the pre-quarterfinals against the previous All England champion.
Meanwhile, Lakshya, who lost to fellow Indian shuttler HS Prannoy in the pre-quarterfinals of the BWF World Championships last week in Tokyo, struggled to create a mark against the lower-ranked Kenta Nishimoto of Japan.
The World No. 10 started out strong against the local World No. 21, but things quickly turned around as Lakshya played an unusually passive game for the All England silver medalist. Lakshya Sen was defeated 18-21, 21-14, 21-13 in a tense 66-minute match.
In contrast, the strong men's doubles team of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila struggled in a second three-set match against Choi Sol Gyu and Kim Won Ho of South Korea, losing 21-19, 21-23, and 15-21.
In addition to jumping nine ranks on the BWF ranking list and into the Top 30 for the first time in their careers, Dhruv and Arjun had an outstanding performance at the BWF World Championships and quickly advanced to the quarterfinals. However, in a fiercely contested match against the World No. 34 Korean team, the newly-crowned World No. 26 couple had to battle tooth and nail before falling short.
In the mixed doubles, Chan Peng Soon and Cheah Yee See, the top seeds from China, defeated Venkat Prasad and Juhi Dewangan 21-11, 21-10.