India’s challenge at the BWF New Zealand Open has come to an end as HS Prannoy lost the quarter-final match of Men’s Singles on Friday. After taking the first game against Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama, Prannoy lost the next two and was defeated 21-17, 15-21, 14-21 in the quarter-final match.
Prannoy was off to a good start in the quarter-final encounter against the fifth seed Tsuneyama as he took a 2-0 lead in the start of the first game. Although the Japanese shuttler had an 11-9 lead at the mid-game break, the 26-year-old Indian came back strong to make it 11-11 with the next two points. The game looked equally poised but Prannoy held on to his lead and nerves to take the first game 21-17.
However, a stunning comeback in the second game ensured that the shuttler from Japan was ready to battle it out hard. Prannoy failed to repeat his act from the first game and eventually, the second game went in favour of Tsuneyama as he pushed the match into the decider. Although it was the Indian who had opened a 7-2 lead at the beginning of the game, Tsuneyama made it 11-11 right after the mid-game break, The fifth seed didn’t allow to Prannoy to gather more points as he took 10 more while Prannoy managed only four.
The semi-finals of the Super 300 tournament was eventually won by Tsuneyama as he dominated the second half of the decider and took the game 21-14. At one point of time in the third game, the score was 11-10 and Prannoy was giving a close fight right after the mid-game break. However, Tsuneyama started gathering points quickly and eventually booked a place in the top four with a thumping win in the end.
Earlier in the tournament, B Sai Praneeth had lost to Lin Dan yesterday and was knocked out in the men’s singles category in the pre-quarters. On the other hand, in women’s singles, Saina Nehwal was eliminated in the first round of the tournament.
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