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India’s challenge ends in Badminton Asia C’ships


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NINGBO (China), April 11: India’s challenge at the Badminton Asia Championships ended after double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy bowed out in pre-quarterfinals of their respective events here on Thursday.
Sindhu, who is desperately seeking to rediscover her form ahead of the Paris Olympics, fought valiantly for for an hour and nine minutes but was outperformed by sixth seed Han Yue of China 18-21 21-13 17-21.
It was Sindhu’s first loss against Yue against whom she had a flawless 5-0 record before Thursday’s contest.
Seventh seed Prannoy went down meekly to unseeded Lin Chun-Yi of Chinese Taipei 18-21 11-21 in just 43 minutes.
In another Indian result, the women’s doubles combination of Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa lost in the pre-quarterfinals, going down 17-21 12-21 to third seeded Japanese pair of Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida.
Sindhu vs Yue
The Indian started on a bright note in the first game and used her experience to race to an 8-4 lead, which she increased to 14-8 before the Chinese made a fine comeback as errors started to creep up in Sindhu’s game.
The Chinese engaged Sindhu in long rallies, tiring her up to draw level at 15-15.
With the momentum on her side, Yue never looked back from there on, keeping control of the proceedings to wrap up the first game in her favour.A jolted Sindhu was in attacking mode in the next game and played aggressively, using her reach and experience to good effect to race to a 16-8 lead.
Although Yue tried her best to claw her way back into the contest, Sindhu didn’t give any chance to her opponent and pocketed the second game comfortably to level the contest.
But Sindhu let the momentum slip away after a good start in the decider, in which she led 8-4 initially.
The Chinese played aggressively and indulged the Indian in long rallies to tire her, and it led to errors.
From 10-10, Yue raced to 17-10 before Sindhu pocketed a few points to reduce the margin to 20-17.
Sindhu saved two game points, but eventually, the Chinese shut the door on the celebrated Indian shuttler.
Prannoy vs Chun-Yi
Prannoy never looked confident even though he and his rival went neck and neck for the first eight points.
Chun-Yi seemed to have figured out Prannoy’s game as he took a 11-7 lead at the break in the first game.
Prannoy used all his experience and shots in his reservoir to claw his way back and level the scores at 15-15 before the Chinese Taipei shuttler pocketed three straight points from 18 apiece to take the lead.
Prannoy started the second game on an aggressive note and raced to a 4-1 lead.
It was then that Chun-Yi raised his game and turned the match on its head with some fine drop shots and aggressive smashes to outwit the Indian and maintain a 11-8 lead at the change of ends.
From there on the Chinese Taipei shuttler never looked back as he pocketed six straight points from 15-11 to emerge the winner. (PTI)


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