A fight that was on track to shock H. S. Prannoy turned into a one-sided affair when Priyanshu Rajawat hurt his ankle in the second game.
A gracious Prannoy praised the 21-year-old sparring partner’s progress over the previous 18 months following his 20-22, 21-14, 21-14 victory in 76 minutes to advance to the men’s singles quarterfinals of the India Open badminton here on Thursday.
The only other Indian contender, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who were seeded second, exacted revenge for their Japan Open defeat against Liu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han of Chinese Taipei, winning 21-14, 21-15 to secure a spot in the round of eight.
On a day that saw the elimination of two-time World women’s champion Akane Yamaguchi and reigning World and defending champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand, China’s Li Shifeng and Indonesia’s Jonathan Christie, ranked three and five respectively, stole the show.
Priyanshu took use of the slowness of the shuttle here to his advantage, not giving Prannoy the tempo he wanted. Even yet, Prannoy was able to end the point ahead of schedule and maintained his lead until the kid tied the score at seven.
As anticipated, both players produced some excellent shots throughout the rallies that Priyanshu started. For the most part, Prannoy had a lead until his younger opponent scored four points in a row to take a two-point lead. Despite Prannoy’s efforts to preserve them, Priyanshu won the first game.
Priyanshu attempted to return after Prannoy skillfully put the shuttle for a 4-0 lead in the second game, but he wound up injuring his right ankle. Priyanshu seemed cautious enough to avoid aggravating the injury for the remainder of the game.
In order to force a deciding, Prannoy won the first seven points and six of the final seven points in the second game. Prannoy got off to a quick 5-0 lead once more and extended it to 10-1. Brave Priyanshu was able to make the score-line look respectable before surrendering.
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