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Manu-Sumeeth shock Olympic silver medallists at Japan Open

 TOKYO, Sept 12: 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 here 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 No. 10 V Shem and Tan Wee 15-21, 23-21, 21-19 in a 54-minute battle.

“I feel we are playing well now. In today’s match we played really well in the 2nd and 3rd game especially at the ending. We were calm and we knew what to be done,” Manu told PTI.

“Overall I think we are coordinating well on court and this win will be a good boost up for the future matches.”

Manu and Sumeeth had lost narrowly to Chinese pair of Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen at the Asian Games individual event.

“At the Asian Games we narrowly missed a medal, I think it was our bad luck as we were leading 20-18 in the 3rd set but couldn’t convert it into a win, but that was a good lesson for both of us,” said Manu.

“We are working on our weakness, we are almost there at that level, just need a little more consistency and I’m sure with that we can beat any pair in the world.”

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.

Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu and Indian men’s singles duo of Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy will play tomorrow.

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.

Former World No. 1 Srikanth too will be itching for a revenge when he meets Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent tomorrow. Wong Wing Ki had defeated the Indian at the Asian Games last month.

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

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