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Indian challenge ends after Prannoy’s exit


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Sydney, June 14: India’s top ranked singles player HS Prannoy went down to higher-ranked Kodai Naraoka of Japan 19-21, 13-21 as none among the country’s shuttlers failed to progress beyond the quarterfinals of the Australian Open Super 500 event here on Friday.
The world No. 10 Prannoy was the latest to be eliminated on a day when his singles compatriot Sameer Verma, mixed doubles pair of Sikki Reddy and B Sumeeth Reddy along with Aakarshi Kashyap in women’s singles also drew blank.
Prannoy made a rally from being 10-16 down to level the proceedings at 18-all before taking a one-point lead but Naraoka held his nerves to seal the first game.
Naraoka was far superior in the second game as he suddenly upped the ante at 5-5 without giving Prannoy any scope of a comeback to seal the match in little more than an hour.
Fresh from his upset victory over former world No. 1 Loh Kean Yew, Verma was no match for his world No. 17 opponent Chinese Taipei opponent Lin Chun-Yi who cruised to a 21-12, 21-13 win in 38 minutes.
In the mixed doubles, eighth seeded husband-wife duo of Summeth and Sikki also faced a tough opposition in top seeded pair of Jian Zhen Bang and Wei Ya Xin, who took just about half an hour’s time to secure an easy 21-12, 21-14 victory.
Eighth seed Aakarshi went down to Chinese Taipei’s Yu Po Pai 21-17, 21-12 in a 42-minute women’s singles contest. (PTI)


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