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Rediff.com  » Sports » Praneeth loses in qualification round of China Masters

Praneeth loses in qualification round of China Masters

September 11, 2012 16:06 IST

Indian shuttler Sai Praneeth failed to make it to the main draw of the Li Ning China Masters. He went down fighting to Huan Gao of China in the qualification round of the men's singles at Changzhou on Tuesday.

Huan will take on London Olympics quarter-finalist and Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist P Kashyap of India on Wednesday.

Praneeth put up a good fight before losing 13-21, 21-18 20-22 in 89 minutes.

In the first game, Gao, with his power-packed strokes, fetched valuable points in a row to finish the first half with a decent total of 11, and then capitalised on the initial advantage later in the game.

The Indian, however, bounced back in the next game. Although he dropped some points in the third quarter, Praneeth reinstated his supremacy to win it 21-18 and set up a nerve-wracking decider.

Both shuttlers kept chasing each other until game point, but the Chinese did well to finish it off, winning 22-20.

On Wednesday, India's R M V Gurusaidutt will square off against Malaysia's Muhammad Hafiz Hashim, while Sourabh Varma is up against a Malaysia's Daren Liew.

In the lower half of the draw, Ajay Jayaram and Anand Pawar have been handed tough opening matches. While Jayaram will face third seeded Japanese Kenichi Tago, Pawar will fight it out against second-seeded Chinese Jin Chen.

The only Indian in the women's singles draw, in the absence of resting Olympic bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal, is P V Sindhu, who will face American Jamie Subandhi in her opening match on Wednesday.

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