India now have just one shuttler left in the Super 300 tournament after B Sai Praneeth lost to Lin Dan in straight games while HS Prannoy defeated Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto in straight games to enter the quarterfinals. The doubles pair Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy also bowed out in pre-quarters.
The legendary Chinese shuttler hasn’t been at his consistent best for a good year now and B Sai Praneeth had the perfect chance to capitalize on that on Thursday when they met in the pre-quarterfinal round of the New Zealand Open. But, it was the ruthless Lin Dan who turned up to the court and the result was a straight-game win for him.
Starting on the backfoot, as Dan opened up a six-point lead at 1-7 early on, the closest Praneeth came was reducing the deficit to 8-6. However, Dan led 11-6 at the break and went on to win the game 21-12. While the second game was expected to be close, Praneeth lost by an identical margin bowing out of the tournament.
Prannoy, however, did let India’s challenge flicker out so early into the competition and stunned second-seeded Sugiarto in the later stages of the day. The Indonesian wasn’t at his best either with the Indian dominating proceeding right from the start to the finish. Prannoy took slightly more than 30 minutes to wrap up things 21-14, 21-12. He will be facing Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama next.
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