World Badminton Championships: Praneeth in quarters; Prannoy loses

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HYDERABAD, August 22: Sai Praneeth stormed into the men’s singles quarter-finals of the BWF World Championships with a dominant victory against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia 21-19, 21-13 on Thursday. But HS Prannoy failed to stop the rampaging world No. 1 Kento Momota in the other pre-quarterfinal.
Playing fast-paced game, the world No. 19 Indian shocked the world No. 8 Ginting in 42 minutes.
Praneeth was in control from the start but Ginting raised his game after the break to move ahead of the Indian to 18-15. But Praneeth was rewarded for displaying strong resolve to fight back and earned crucial points. Down 17-19, Praneeth played well and his powerful drives coupled with down the line smashes confused Ginting, who made three unforced by hitting the shuttle into the net and eventually lost the game from 19-18.
Praneeth maintained the same tempo and secured a 5-1 lead. But Ginting fought back and moved ahead to 11-8 by the break.
From here it was Praneeth’s show all the way. Pushing Ginting to the back of the net and suddenly drawing him forward, Praneeth got enough height to execute his powerful crosscourt smashes. He secured 12 of the next 13 points using the same game plan to move to 20-12. The Indonesian looked hapless as Praneeth walked away with an easy victory in the second game.
In the quarterfinals, Praneeth will face the winner of the match between fourth seed Jonathan Christie of Indonesia and unseeded Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark.
Earlier, a lion hearted display was not enough for Prannoy to stop Momota. The Indian matched the defending champion in all departments in the first game. But Momota’s rock solid defence was too difficult to crack.
After staying close to Momota upto 15-15, Prannoy found it tough to maintain the same vigour. A 57-stroke rally at this stage drained out the Indian. The Kerala shuttler determination helped him to be in the contest till 19-19 before Momota moved to game-point with a fast-paced drive and won the game with a smash at the net. (TNN)