Prannoy has his joy: Stuns Momota, Lakshya sails into pre-quarters but Srikanth misses out

August 25, 2022

BadmintonWorld Badminton Championships


India’s HS Prannoy stunned second seed Kento Momota in straight games to record a sensational win, while reigning Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen also sailed into the men’s singles pre-quarterfinals of the World Championships here today.

The unseeded Prannoy rose above the expectations to shut the door on the home favourite and two-time former world champion Momota 21-17 21-16 in a second-round tie.

Incidentally, it was Prannoy’s first win over Momota in eight matches. In their previous clashes, the Indian had won only one game against the highly-rated Japanese.

Earlier in the day, Sen sailed into the pre-quarterfinals with a straight-game win over Spain’s Luis Penalver. He won his second-round contest 21-17 21-10, taking 36 minutes to complete the job.

Prannoy and Sen will face each other in an all-Indian clash tomorrow.

However, last edition’s runners-up Kidambi Srikanth crashed out after a straight-game defeat to world No. 32 Zhao Jun Peng. He went down to the Chinese 18-21 17-21 in a match that lasted only 34 minutes.

Earlier, the men’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila moved into the pre-quarterfinals. The unseeded duo upstaged Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark 21-17 21-16. The eighth-seeded pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy thrashed Guatemala’s Solis Jonathan and Anibal Marroquin 21-8 21-10 to storm into the Round of 16.

In the women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy made a second-round exit. They lost 15-21 10-21 to top seeds Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan of China in 42 minutes. Pooja Dandu and Sanjana Santosh went down 15-21 7-21 to the third-seeded South Korean pair Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan.

Stumbling Srikanth

The 29-year-old Srikanth was out of sorts in the opening game as it took only 12 minutes for Peng to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

On the back foot, Srikanth tried to up the ante in the second game and led 16-14 but numerous unforced errors helped Peng secure victory.

Sen’s encounter was in stark contrast to Srikanth’s. After trailing 3-4 in the first game, the ninth-seeded Sen sprinted to a 13-7 lead. The Indian maintained the six-point lead and comfortably wrapped up the first game.

In the second game, the first six points were shared between the two players, but the 21-year-old Indian pulled ahead with his superior play.

With Sen enjoying a massive nine-point lead at one stage, it was only a matter of time before he completed the job.

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