Prannoy, Praneeth make winning start at French Open

October 26, 2017

French Open


Indian shuttlers H.S Prannoy and B Sai Praneeth advanced to the men’s singles second round with contrasting wins in the French Open Super Series here on Wednesday.

US Open champion Prannoy, who had reached the quarterfinals at Odense, sent packing Denmark Open finalist, Korea’s 37-year-old veteran Lee Hyun Il 21-15 21-17, while Praneeth made amends for his opening round exit last week with a 21-13 21-23 21-19 win over Thailand’s Khosit Phetpradab.

Praneeth, however, will look to take some tips from Prannoy for his next match as he is likely to take on three-time Olympic silver medallist and current World No. 7 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.

Prannoy, who has beaten the Malaysian twice this season, will face Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus next.

Mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy suffered a 15-21 12-21 loss to fourth seeded Indonesians Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir.

Up against an experienced opponent, whom he had lost to twice in very close games, Prannoy gave ample display of his newfound prowess as he tore through the opening game, without giving any chance to Lee.

In the second game, Prannoy lead 8-5 and even though Lee held a slender 11-10 lead at the break, the Indian jumped ahead to 13-11.

Lee clawed back with two points before Prannoy moved ahead to comfortably seal the issue.

Praneeth, on the other hand, had to go through the grind as his unheralded opponent sprang a surprise to take the second game after the Indian had pocketed the first game having broken off at 7-7.

In the second game, Praneeth blew a 15-6 lead as 35th ranked Khosit managed to force the match into the decider.

Praneeth held a 11-8 lead in the third game, only to see it vapourise as Khosit turned the tables, reaching 19-16. But the Indian regained his poise and reeled off five points to seal the deciding game.

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