Prannoy goes down fighting

Jayaram, Srikanth too exit in quarterfinals

India’s campaign in the Japan Open badminton tournament ended on Friday after Ajay Jayaram, K Srikanth and HS Prannoy lost their respective men’s singles quarterfinal matches at the $200,000 Super Series event here.

While Prannoy fought hard before going down 21-11, 20-22, 21-13 to Huan Gao of China, Srikanth and Jayaram lost in straight games to crash out of the tournament.

Prannoy gave a good account of himself as he came back from a game down against a higher ranked opponent to clinch the second one and take the match into the decider.

The contest, which was the first meeting between the two, lasted an hour and 13 minutes.
After being tied at 8-8, the Chinese bagged nine points on the trot to open a 17-8 lead and then easily claimed the opening game. Prannoy came back strongly in the second game before he lost steam in the third.

Mumbai’s Jayaram, the World No 30, lost to fifth seeded Vietnamese Tien Minh Nguyen 18-21, 13-21 in 40 minutes. Despite being better at net play, the Indian was done in by the smashes hit by his opponent.

Jayaram started off on a positive note, posing some threat to the Vietnamese in the first game to be tied at 16-16, before Nguyen surged ahead to win it with the help of some down-the-line smashes.

Nguyen hardly gave any chance to the Indian in the second game as he ran away with the match comfortably.

Srikanth lost to Japanese seventh seed Kenichi Tago 21-18, 21-9 in just 39 minutes.

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