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Malaysia Masters: Prannoy storms into semis, Sindhu loses to nemesis Tai Tzu in quarters (Ld)

Kuala Lumpur, July 8 (IANS) Continuing his brilliant form, H.S Prannoy beat Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan to storm into the semifinals but former world champion P.V. Sindhu was knocked out after losing to Tai Tzu Ying in the women’s singles quarterfinals at the Malaysia Masters 2022, here on Friday.

Prannoy, searching for his first BWF title in five years, beat Tsuneyama 25-23, 22-20 in the 60-minute men’s singles quarterfinal clash to reach the last-four stage.

The Indian shuttler, ranked 19th, saved a game point in the opener and two game points after the change of ends against the world No 14 Japanese to script an impressive comeback.

The 29-year-old Prannoy, India’s only remaining challenge at the meet, will now take on world No. 13 Angus Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong for a place in Sunday’s final.

Earlier, Sindhu, seventh in the badminton world rankings, lost to world No. 2 Tai Tzu of Chinese Taipei 13-21, 21-12, 12-21 in 55 minutes. This was Sindhu’s seventh straight loss to Tai Tzu and 17th defeat in 22 matches.

The two-time Olympic medallist had lost to Tai Tzu in the Tokyo 2020 semifinals and also at the Malaysia Open quarterfinals last week.

Despite engaging in long rallies, Sindhu found it difficult to break Tai Tzu’s defence and trailed 11-9 at the first interval. The Indian badminton ace found herself at the receiving end for the rest of the game as the Chinese Taipei shuttler, with a good mix of backhand shots and smashes, took the 1-0 lead in the match.

Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Sindhu was quicker on her feet in the second game and raced to an 11-4 lead. Tai Tzu did make a mid-game comeback but an early cushion helped the Indian take the match into the third game.

Both shuttlers brought their A-game into the decider. However, after losing two challenges, Sindhu, leading for the most part before the break, lost her rhythm and conceded points in quick succession. Tai Tzu then capitalised on the opening and sailed into the semifinals of the BWF Super 500 badminton tournament.

–IANS

avn/bsk

CELEBRITY GALLERY

Ananya Panday

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Pooja Hegde

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