KUALA LUMPUR: Indian star shuttle HS Prannoy put on another splendid display to advance to the men’s singles quarter-finals with a thrilling victory over Indonesia’s Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo in the Malaysian Open Super 750 tournament here Thursday.
The Indian world number 8 looked in fine form as he held off the spirited challenge of world number 19 Chico 21-9, 15-21, 21-16 in an hour and four minutes.
The 30-year-old from Kerala will next face Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong or Japan’s Kodai Naraoka.
Commonwealth Games Bronze Medalists Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand fought hard before losing 13-21, 21-15, 17-21 to Bulgarian Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva in the pre-quarter-finals of the women’s doubles.
For Prannoy, it was his second meeting with Chico, who beat him at Syed Modi International 2018.
In the form of his life, Prannoy got off to a good start, showing better control and his attack also paid him dividends as he led 7-5 before grabbing an 11-5 cushion in the interval.
With Chico struggling with the drifting conditions, Prannoy got away with the opener.
After the change of sides, Chico showed better control as he took a 6-2 lead after a sharp rally with his opponent. The Indonesian seemed to attack more and quickly took an 11-5 lead at the break.
Both players looked to push each other in rallies but Prannoy made mistakes in his finishing as Chico walked 17-11 with an inverted slice.
The Indonesian quickly returned to the competition after converting five match points.
In the decider, Prannoy was all fired up as he landed crisp returns down the lines to make it 5-2. He managed to run his rival back and forth with his angled returns, extracting errors to take a nice five-point lead at the break.
Prannoy was spot on with his shot selection, landing his straight and cross smashes away from his diving opponent to rack up points.
Chico played some great shots but was inconsistent during rallies as Prannoy established his five-point lead at 17-12. Another razor-sharp straight jump smash followed by another baseline shot gave Prannoy six match points.
The Indonesian saved two before sending one to the net as Prannoy celebrated.
Earlier, Treesa and Gayatri, ranked 16th in the world, narrowly lost to the Stoeva sisters, ranked 14th in the world, in a match that lasted one hour and nine minutes.
The Stoeva sisters, who competed at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, were clearly the better performers in the opener as they quickly took a 6-0 lead and then held their fort, despite a mini fight back from the Indians , who brought the equation. up to 9-12 at one point.
Game two was a close affair as Treesa and Gayatri continued to breathe down their opponent’s neck before breaking up at 14-14 to bring the match to the decider.
In the third game, the Indian pair had slim leads of 6-4 and 14-13, but the Bulgarian combination didn’t give up this time, going from 14-14 to seal the game.
Treesa and Gayatri will meet the French duo of Margot Lambert and Anne Tran in their next tournament at the India Open Super 750 next week.



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