Kidambi Srikanth’s time at the Japan Open came to an early end as he was ousted by fellow countrymen HS Prannoy in the first round at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza in Tokyo. In the match that lasted about 59 minutes, Srikanth fought hard but eventually was stunned by Prannoy.
Srikanth headed into the tournament as India’s top ranked player and one of the firm favorites to win the tournament. But he gave away his first game advantage to lose the remaining two games and hand over the tie.
After winning the first game comfortably by the scoreline 21-12, it looked as though it was a cakewalk. But Prannoy fought back winning the second game 21-11 to take it to the decider. In the decider, Srikanth tried his best by saving two match points but it wasn’t enough as Prannoy held his nerve to take the game 21-20.
Srikanth has not had the best of times in the recent past. He had come into the tournament in a pressure to deliver for the nation after disappointing in the recently concluded Indonesia open.
HS Prannoy will now face Rasmus Gemke of Denmark in the second round.