Indian shuttler HS Prannoy defeated China’s Chen Long 21-18 16-21 21-19 in a thrilling encounter to seal a berth in the semi-finals of the Indonesia Super Series Premier. Meanwhile, Srikanth Kidambi overcame Chinese Tzu Wei Weng 21-15 21-14 to cruise into the semi-finals of the tournament.
The eighth-seeded Chen Long started the match by dictating terms early as he took a 2-0 lead over the Kerala shuttler Prannoy. However, the 25th-ranked, on the back of beating Lee Chong Wei, came roaring back into the game with some effective net play and confident drives to take the 9-6 lead and maintained his advantage at the break with a score of 11-7. Chen Long then tried to close the gap after the break by reducing Prannoy’s lead to two points at 20-18, but the 24-year old kept his nerves in check to win the game 21-18.
The second game saw a see-saw distribution of points as both the players kept countering each other and tied the game at 7-7. However, the Chinese Olympic champion managed to gain 3 points over the Indian shuttler to lead 11-8 at the break. Prannoy tried to stage a comeback levelling the match at 16-all but Long won five consecutive points soon after to take the second game 21-16.
In the deciding game, Prannoy looked struck with fatigue and trailed 4-1 to the Chinese. However, just when it seemed like Prannoy will bow out in the decider the 24-year old reduced the lead to a single point at 3-4. Prannoy then led the game 16-13 only to be brought on level terms by the Chinese at 17-17. The Kerala shuttler then surged ahead with a two-point lead but Long did not let the game slip out of his grasp and kept himself within a point's distance from Prannoy with a score of 20-19. Prannoy showed nerves of steel and overcame the Olympic Champion 21-19 to advance to the semi-finals of the tournament.
On the other hand, Srikanth Kidambi continued his splendid run of form and went past World No. 19 Tzu Wei Wang 21-15 21-14 in straight games. Srikanth started the first game on the offensive and took a superior lead of 11-5 at the break. The Chinese narrowed down the Indian’s lead to two points but eventually lost the first game 21-15. The Chinese