Prannoy goes down fighting to Tsuneyama

H S Prannoy
H S Prannoy fought valiantly before losing to fifth seed Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan. File photo: AFP
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Auckland: H S Prannoy fought valiantly before losing to fifth seed Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in the men's singles quarterfinal, drawing curtains on India's campaign at the New Zealand Open badminton , here on Friday.

Unseeded Prannoy squandered a one-game advantage before losing 21-17, 15-21, 14-21 to world No. 11 Japanese shuttler in a marathon match which lasted an hour and 13 minutes.

The two now enjoy a 1-1 head-to-head record against each other.

The first game witnessed a close fight as both Prannoy and Tsuneyama matched each other stroke for stroke till the first 13 points before the Indian pocketed four straight points to surge ahead 17-13.

The Japanese didn't give up and reduced the gap to 17-18 before Prannoy secured three points on the trot to take the first game.

Prannoy raced to a 4-0 lead in the second game soon before extending it to 11-5.

But then the Indian hit a roadblock and committed unforced errors to give his opponent a leeway and the Tsuneyama grabbed the chance with both hands. He won eight straight points to move ahead 14-11.

The Indian managed to draw level at 14 apiece before Tsuneyama closed out the game at 21-15 in his favour.

The decider too was a hard-fought one as both the shuttlers were not in a mood to concede an each. They were tied at 14-14 before the Japanese raised his game to seal the tie.

Tsuneyama will play third seed and Jakarta Asian Games gold medallist Jonathan Christie in the semifinals.

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