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Prannoy loses in Japan Masters, Indian challenge ends

Indian shuttler HS Prannoy lost a closely-fought second-round match against Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei to bow out of the Japan Masters Super 500 badminton tournament at Kumamoto in Japan on Thursday.

India's HS Prannoy(PTI)
India’s HS Prannoy(PTI)

The Asian Games bronze medallist Indian, who returned to action after recovering from a back injury, squandered an opening game advantage to lose 21-19 16-21 19-21 to world no. 12 Chen in a 73-minute men’s singles match that went down the wire.

Prannoy’s defeat brought curtains on India’s campaign at the tournament.

The world number 8 Indian looked in control in the first game as he opened up a 4-0 lead and managed to stay 11-8 ahead at the break.

Chen kept fighting to keep himself close but Prannoy sealed the opening game.

Chen got his act together after the opening reversal and took 5-0 lead quickly. Though Prannoy managed to draw parity at 10-10, Chen reeled off four quick points to create a gap, which the Indian couldn’t bridge.

The Chinese Taipei player carried the momentum in the decider, leading 12-4 at one stage. Soon Prannoy produced his trademark fightback to slowly and steadily draw parity at 19-19.

Chen, however, recovered in the nick of time to win the decider 21-19 and pocket the match.

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