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Sai, Sindhu on collision course at Japan Open

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  8 Sep 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Tokyo, Sep 7 : Women’s second seed Sai Nehwal will face compatriot P.V. Sindhu in the second round of the $275,000 Japan Open Superseries starting here on Tuesday — if they win their first rounds. Ditto is the case with top men’s singles players Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashayp.

Hyderabadi Sai, who recently reached the fil of the World Championships, will open her campaign against Thai Busan Ongbumrungpan on Wednesday. Her city-mate and world No.14 Sindhu will face Japan’s Mitsu Mitani at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymsium.

If both cross the first round, they will face each other for the second time in their career. Their first clash — at the 2014 India Grand Prix Gold fil — was won by World No.1 Sai in straight games.

In the third round, the winner from among them is expected to face former world champion Ratchanok Intanon.

The big mes in the other half of the draw include two-time reigning world champion Caroli Marin of Spain, Olympic champion Li Xuerui and former world No.1 Shixian Wang.

In the men’s singles competition, the only Indian to be seeded is world No.4 Srikanth. The 22-year-old Guntur-born shuttler will open against Scott Evans of Ireland.

Reigning Commonwealth Games champion and world No.8 Kashyap will face Japanese challenger Takuma Ueda, world No.31 Ajay Jayaram will take on Danish seventh seed Viktor Axelsen while world No.12 H.S. Prannoy will be pitted against Wong Wing Ki Vincent of Hong Kong.

Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponppa have a difficult task ahead as they have been drawn against Chinese women’s doubles eighth seeds Zhao Yunlei and Zhong Qianxin.

Pradnya Gadre and N. Sikki Reddy face Japanese top seeds Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi in the opener.

In the qualifying matches on Tuesday, the mixed doubles pair of Tarun Ko and Sikki will face Japan’s Yuta Watbe and Hingashino, while And Pawar faces Japanese Kata Tsuneyama. IANS

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