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Shuttlers Anand Pawar, Tarun-Sikki lose in qualifiers of Japan Open

Tokyo: India had a disappointing start to their campaign at the Japan Super Series after men's singles player Anand Pawar and mixed doubles pair of Kona Tarun and N Sikki Reddy lost their respective matches in the qualifiers of the badminton tournament in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Pawar suffered a 20-22 18-21 loss to Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in men's singles, while local pair of Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino thrashed Tarun and Sikki 21-9 13-21 21-19 in another match.

In a 50-minute thrilling match, Pawar was put on the back foot early on in the opening game as Kanta lead 13-6. The Indian did well to draw parity at 18-18 but the Japanese held his fort to earn the bragging rights.

In the second game, Pawar surged ahead to 7-3 but Kanta drew level soon before the Indian once again opened up a 15-12 lead. However, a four-point burst saw Kanta wrest control of the match and eventually shut the door on Pawar.

Top shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap and Kidambi Srikanth will start their campaign on Wednesday.

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