HS Prannoy loses second successive match in BWF World Tour Finals | Badminton News

NEW DELHI: Indian flying ace HS Prannoythe campaign of BWF World Tour The final is over as he lost his second consecutive game in Group A to withdraw from the semi-final.
Prannoy lost to China Lu Guang Zu in a three-game bout in Bangkok on Thursday.
Prannoy, who lost the opener to Japan’s Kodai Naraoka, fought hard before losing 21-23 21-17 19-21 in a grueling 84-minute game.
The Indian, world number 12, will next face world number one and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen in his final Group A game on Friday.
Axelsen topped the group after beating Naraoka 21-5 21-15 in a one-sided match. The Dane had also beaten Lu in back-to-back games on Wednesday.
While the top two players from the group will advance to the knockout stage, it will be either Naraoka or Lu who will join Axelsen in the semi-finals.
The match started off on an even keel with both players exchanging blows but a few errors from Prannoy saw Lu establish a slim 6-4 lead.
The duo looked to attack but it was the Chinese who showed better control as they entered the halfway interval with a small two-point advantage.
After the restart, Prannoy looked to dominate the rally and tied the game at 14-14 before taking a two-point lead at 18-16 with a delicious spike.
Lu swept one through the net to reduce it to 18-19 and then recovered at 19-19 when the Indian went wide.
Lu won a play point but Prannoy saved it before conceding another. The Indian saved a second game point with a quick backhand reflex, to send another.
The Chinese sealed it this time with an accurate return from the baseline.
There wasn’t much to separate the two in the second game as Prannoy crept up his rival at 6-6, but Lu managed to take a one-point cushion at the break after the Indian had new long summer.
The momentum changed after the break as Prannoy unleashed a straight smash on his rival’s forehand and then punished Lu for a short lift to make it 14-12. Another pinpoint smash and razor-sharp return to the backhand of his rival made the Indian 18-13.
Prannoy grabbed four game points after surging on a weak return and returned to the competition after another clean duel.
The Indian dictated the pace of the rallies in the decider and took a 6-3 lead after a lucky net deal. However, mistakes crept into his game again when Prannoy rushed in a few shots and allowed Lu to turn things around at 7-6.
The Chinese then used his speed and quick reflex to enter the final mid-game interval with a three-point lead.
Lu held the lead until 15-12 when Prannoy scripted a mini recovery to recover at 16-16. As the game entered its home stretch, both commuters celebrated every point with a fist pump and a roar as they made it 19-19.
After an excruciating rally, Prannoy sent a long one to give his rival match point and Lu sealed it when the Indian went wide.
(With PTI entries)


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