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Malaysia Open: Prannoy advances; Praneeth, Sameer exit

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
June 28, 2022 18:10 IST
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IMAGE: H S Prannoy's outclassed Malaysia's Daren Liew in the first round of the Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

India's H S Prannoy faced stiff resistance before prevailing against local hero Daren Liew to advance to the second round of the Malaysia Open, in Kuala Lumpur, on Tuesday.

 

A former top-10 player, Prannoy, who had reached the semi-finals of Indonesia Open Super 1000 earlier this month, emerged a 21-14, 17-21, 21-18 winner in 62 minutes.

The 29-year-old from Kerala, ranked 21st currently, will face fourth seeded Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei next at the Super 750 badminton tournament.

Prannoy's win brought some cheers to the Indian camp after B Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma made early exits.

While Praneeth went down to World No 6 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia, Sameer lost to World No 8 Jonatan Christie, also from Indonesia.

 The 30-year-old Praneeth lost 15-21, 21-19, 9-21 to Ginting in a 50-minute encounter.

This was eight meeting between the two players with the Indonesian now leading the head-to-head record 5-3. They last played at the 2020 Asian Team championships where Ginting won the contest after Praneeth retired due to an injury.

Sameer, who is making a comeback from injury, fought for 49 minutes before losing 14-21, 21-13, 7-21 in another match.

In the doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also bowed out of the tournament after losing 15-21, 11-21 to Japanese duo of Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida, seeded sixth.

Prannoy was slow off the mark but opened up a healthy 11-7 lead at the break. His strokes penetrated the defence of his opponent, who looked little passive as Prannoy was rewarded for his alertness and better control in the rallies.

The Indian kept putting the shuttles on the right areas and with Liew making some uncharacteristic errors meant Prannoy's lead was not threatened.

In the end, it was another return at the baseline which gave Prannoy the bragging rights.

After the change of sides, Liew took a 7-4 advantage with Prannoy going to the nets repeatedly. The Indian soon turned the tide with his smashes on his rival's forehand.    

After the break, Prannoy tried to play at a good pace but a series of unforced errors, mainly at the net, handed four game points to Liew and he sealed it with a smash.

In the decider, Prannoy moved up 6-3 but Liew again clawed his way back with three points, including an excruciating rally which left Prannoy flat on the ground.

The duo played with electrifying pace and Prannoy managed to eke out a three point cushion at the interval.

The second half of the decider was a roller-coaster ride as Liew kept breathing down Prannoy's neck but the Indian ensured he had the last laugh, sealing the contest with another powerful smash which Liew sent wide.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

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