Malaysia Masters: Sindhu, Prannoy in semis, Srikanth out in quarters

Malaysia Masters: Sindhu, Prannoy in semis, Srikanth out in quarters

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Kuala Lumpur | India’s PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy continued their magical run at the Malaysia Masters 2023 Badminton Championships with a hard-fought quarter-final win to enter the semi-finals here on Friday.

Sindhu and Prannoy, India’s highest-ranked players in the women’s and men’s singles rankings respectively, were left in the running as Kidambi Srikanth’s campaign ended in the quarterfinals, losing to Indonesia’s Christian Adinata in three games. .

Two-time Olympic medalist Sindhu defeated China’s Zhang Yi Man 21-16, 13-21, 22-20 in a thrilling encounter on Court 1 at the Axiata Arena in the Malaysian capital. She will now take on Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, who is ranked 9th in the BWF World Rankings, in the semi-finals. Gregoria defeated second seed Wang Zhi Yi of China 21-11, 21-14 in the women’s singles quarterfinal earlier in the day.

In men’s singles, Prannoy continued his impressive run at the BWF World Tour Super 500 event by defeating Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto 25-23, 18-21, 21-13 in the quarterfinals. He will face Indonesia’s Cristian Adinata in the semi-finals.

Adinata got the better of India’s Kidambi Srikanth, who won the first game and took a 15-13 lead in a hard-fought second before going down 16-21, 21-16, 11-21 in a 57-minute match. In which the Indonesian player won 58 rallies as compared to 48 by the Indian.

In Friday’s quarterfinal match, Sindhu got her first point after Zhang Yi Man of China started well and took a 5-0 lead. However, the Indian shuttler, who had won a silver at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro followed by a bronze at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, came back strongly after the scores were tied at 10-10.

Sindhu went ahead 15-11 and won the opening game 21-16. Zhang raced to a 4–3 lead in the second game, and then took 10–3 and 15–9 to win the game 21–13.

The 27-year-old Sindhu took an early 5-1 lead in the deciding game but Zhang caught Sindhu at 12-12. He took a two-point lead at 15-13. It was a close tussle between the two players before Sindhu got her first match point at 20-17. However, the Chinese player had not given up yet and leveled at 20-20. But Sindhu won the next two points to win the game 22-20 and the match in 74 minutes.

In the men’s singles quarterfinals, Prannoy squandered an early 3-0 lead but leveled at 5-5. Nishimoto won the next four points to take the score to 9-5 but the Indian again chased them down to equalize and lead 13-12. The Indian shuttler maintained her lead after reaching 16-13 but her Japanese opponent earned a game point at 20-17. Prannoy saved it and then won 25-23 after a hard fight.

In the second game, both the players fought hard for every point and were tied at 9-11, with Nishimoto leading 17-11 and though Prannoy narrowed the gap to 18-19, the Japanese shuttler won the next two Won the next game 21-18 by winning the points.

In the deciding game, Prannoy took a 7-5 lead at 4-4 and extended it to 11-5. Nishimoto reduced the gap to 10-14, but Prannoy held on to his lead to win the game 21-13 and seal his place in the semi-finals.


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