Indonesia Open: HS Prannoy crashes out in semi-finalsJune 17, 2017
Indian shuttler HS Prannoy’s campaign in the Indonesia Open Super Series Badminton tournament came to an end after he went down to Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai in a thrilling semi-final contest here on Saturday.
Prannoy lost 21-17, 26-28, 18-21 in a gruelling last-four contest that lasted for one hour and sixteen minutes.
The Indian shuttler, who had stunned World and Olympic Champion Chen Long of China to enter the semi-finals, won the first game 21-17 but his Japanese opponent came out with a more aggressive approach in the second game to build an early lead.
However, Prannoy stuck to his natural game and clawed his way back to take an 18-17 lead. From then on the lead kept shuttling between the two till the Japanese edged out the mammoth game 28-26.
Sakai, who is ranked 20 places lower to Prannoy, came out strong in the final game and built a healthy lead. However, the Indian came back again and took the lead which Sakai, holding on is nerves in the final stages, won the game 21-18 to seal the final berth.
Both Prannoy and Sakai were appearing in their first Superseries semi-final. Their only previous meeting was at the Indonesia Open in 2013, where Sakai won 21-13, 14-21, 21-17.
Before defeating reigning Olympic, World and Asian Champion Chen Long in the quarterfinals on Friday in a grueling three-game match, Prannoy had defeated Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the first round and six-time champion Lee Chong Wei in the second round.
Prannoy is scheduled to take part in the Australian Open next week, where he’s drawn to face Sakai in the first round of the qualifiers.