India's only hope for Japan Open medal HS Prannoy suffers close loss at the hands of TC Chou
HS Prannoy falters against Chinese Taipei's TC Chou after recording a valiant effort against the sixth-ranked player.
Prannoy HS, India`s only medal hope at the Japan Open, crashed out in the quarterfinals on Friday. The ace Indian shuttler fought valiantly against his Chinese Taipei opponent TC Chou, winning the second set, but eventually lost the game in a three-set thriller 17-21, 21-15, 22-20.
Playing in his consecutive quarterfinals, Prannoy sought redemption in the Japan Open, after crashing out in the quarterfinals of the BWF World Championships in August. Facing the sixth-ranked badminton player, the Indian skilled great badminton skills throughout the game, playing subtle net shots combined with ferocious body smashes.
The scoreline of the first set may not suggest it, but it was a closely contested set with Chou managing to get himself together and managing his nerves. Chou made use of minute lapses of concentration in the set by the Indian, bagging the first set.
Not ready to throw in the towel yet, Prannoy came back with a bang in the second set, securing consecutive points early in the set. The Chinese Taipei player had no answers to the immaculate precision with which the Indian played.
Aggression mixed with accuracy served as the perfect recipe for the Indian to clinch the second set, levelling the game. In the third set, the audience was treated to an exceptional play of badminton with both the players desperate to advance to the semifinals.
Both of the players dived across the court to save points and were cheered on for each point they saved or scored. With the crowd behind them, the players reached a stage when they were both tied on 20 points in the third set.
A Prannoy flick serve went long to give Chou the lead and then the Indian faltered with a net shot going wide to confirm the former World Number Two a place in the semifinals. Chou will now face Y.Q. Shi of China on Saturday for a place in the finals.