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Malaysia Masters 2022: India's campaign ends as HS Prannoy goes down fighting in semifinals

HS Prannoy

Bengaluru, July 9: India's campaign in the Malaysia Masters 2022 Super Series 500 badminton tournament came to a grnding halt after HS Prannoy went down fighting 21-17, 9-21, 17-21 to Hong Kong's NG Ka Long Angus in the semifinals.

A fighting Prannoy had edged out Japan's Kanta Tsuneyama 25-23, 22-20 in the quarterfinals, but the eighth-seeded Ka Long proved too good for the former top-10 player in the last-four encounter at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

The see-saw quarterfinal contest had turned out to be a game of fluctuating fortunes as the two highly-skilled players engaged in a battle of one-upmanship, with Prannoy showing nerves of steel as he saved game points twice to emerge victorious against world No. 14 Tsuneyama in the round-of-8 match that lasted 60 minutes.

Malaysia Masters 2022: Indian shuttlers schedule and resultsMalaysia Masters 2022: Indian shuttlers schedule and results

But there was no encore in the semifinals as Ka Long proved a tough nut to crack.

Though Prannoy won a tight first game, Ka Long restored parity in the second and took the match to the decider where the Hong Kong plyer had the last laugh.

Prannoy was the last Indian shuttler in the fray after two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu lost in the quarterfinals.

The ace Indian, could not find a way to get past her nemesis Tai Tzu Ying in the round-of-eight clash.

A week after week after being outwitted by Tzu Ying at the Malaysia Open, seventh seed Sindhu once again fell short against the world No. 2, losing 13-21 21-12 12-21 in a 55-minute contest.

PV Sindhu

It was Sindhu's 17th career defeat to the Tokyo Olympics silver medallist, who has prevailed over the Indian in their last seven meetings.

The last time Sindhu had defeated the Taiwanese was en route her 2019 World Championships gold-winning run in Basel, Switzerland.

Earlier, Sania Nehwal had crashed out of the competition in the opening round, losing to Kim Ga-eun of South Korea after winning the first game 21-16, 17-21, 14-21.

Singapore next

The next challenge for Indian shuttlers is the Singapore Open 2022, which is set to take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore, from July 12 to 17.

The Singapore Open, also known as Singapore Super Series 500, returns after a two years hiatus as the previous two editions in 2020 and 2021 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Story first published: Saturday, July 9, 2022, 15:36 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 9, 2022