KUALA LUMPUR: A fighting HS Prannoy edged out Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama to progress to the Malaysia Masters Super 500 semi-finals, but PV Sindhu could not find a way to get past her nemesis Tai Tzu Ying here on Friday.
World No.19 Prannoy weathered the storm against World No.14 Tsuneyama to emerge victorious 25-23, 22-20 in the quarter-final clash that ebbed and flowed throughout. Prannoy will face Hong Kong’s NG Ka Long Angus, seeded eighth, in the last-four stage.
A week after being outwitted by Tai Tzu at the Malaysia Open, seventh seed Sindhu once again fell short against the World No.2 from Chinese Taipei, losing 13-21, 21-12, 12-21 in the quarter-final contest.
The men’s singles encounter between Prannoy and Tsuneyama was closely contested, with the former holding a slender one-point (11-10) advantage at the break. After the interval, the Indian was rewarded for his razor-sharp precision and eked out a 17-13 lead.
But, the Japanese scripted a good recovery to earn a game-point opportunity as Prannoy found the net twice. The Indian then clinched two points in succession to secure a game point, which he did not make use of. However, Prannoy converted the fourth game point by the barest of margins, with the shuttle just kissing the line. In the second game, Tsuneyama bagged a two-point (11-9) lead at the breather by dominating the rallies with diagonal returns. Prannoy pocketed four straight points to move to 13-11, but the Japanese roared back as he went 18-16 ahead.
Tsuneyama soon had two game-point opportunities to level the match, but Prannoy saved both. The Indian bagged a match point when the Japanese found the net and clinched a semi-final berth after the latter went long.