Tokyo : CWG champion Parupalli Kashyap emerged as the lone survivor at the Japan Open in an otherwise disappointing day for India as top shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth made an early exit from the Super Series tournament on Thursday.
Unseeded Kashyap prevailed over World No. 4 Srikanth 21-11, 21-19 in an all-Indian men’s singles contest, which lasted 45 minutes, to set up a clash with sixth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei.
Kashyap, who is ranked eighth in the world, has a 2-1 record against the World No.7, who had beaten him at the All England this year.
It also turned out to be a dismal day for World No.1 Saina Nehwal and World No.12 H S Prannoy as they failed to cross the second round.
World Championship silver medallist Saina suffered a 13-21, 16-21 loss to local star shuttler Minatsu Mitani in the women’s singles, while Prannoy failed to get across Lee Dong Keun and went down 9-21, 16-21 to the Korean.
In a repeat of the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold final match, Kashyap and Srikanth clashed at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium and the World No. 10 showed his prowess as he produced a sharp game to stump his fellow Indian.
It was a gruelling battle for the first six points between the two Indians but Kashyap soon opened up a slender 9-6 lead and then kept increasing the lead as Srikanth failed to catch up to allow the senior pro to pocket the first game.
In the second game, Kashyap once again lead 4-1 early on but Srikanth caught up with a three-point burst and turned the tables after reeling five straight points at 8-8.
Srikanth dominated most part of the match after that before a gritty Kashyap produced a six point burst when lagging 15-19 to bang the door on his younger colleague.