JAKARTA: Indian shuttler HS Prannoy signed off with yet another semifinal finish at the Indonesia Open Super 1000 badminton tournament after going down in straight games to China’s Zhao Jun Peng here on Saturday.
World number 23 Prannoy couldn’t find his rhythm and lacked precision and control to lose 16-21 15-21 to Jun Peng, a two-time bronze medallist at the World Junior Championships, in a 40-minute last four clash. It was their first meeting in international badminton. Playing his second semifinal at the Indonesia Open, Prannoy, who turns 30 next month, fell behind from the start as he couldn’t keep pace with his opponent in rallies.
The left-handed Chinese put a lot of power in his smashes and his hold-and-flick shots also caught Prannoy off guard as he entered the first interval lagging 6-11 after two unforced errors.
The Indian seemed a little nervous as his net play was not as polished and he also lacked his trademark control on the shuttle. As a result, the Chinese maintained his five-point lead till 14-9.
Prannoy briefly looked to dictate the pace in the rallies and narrowed the deficit to 14-16 with the help of some good strokes. But the Indian let the momentum slip as another wide shot and a long return took the Chinese to 19-15 and he grabbed five game points with a cross court smash. Prannoy saved one but Jun Peng sealed it in the second chance to have the bragging rights.