HS Prannoy, one of the shining stars of India’s historic Thomas Cup success, raced into the quarterfinals of the Indonesia Open Super 1000 competition on Thursday with a straight-game win against Hong Kong’s Ng Ka Long Angus.
He is from Kerala, who really is anxious to end his five-year championship drought, put up another strong effort to defeat Ng Long 21-11 21-18 in a 41-minute second stage encounter.
This was Prannoy’s fourth victory against the 27-year-old, who is placed 12th in the globe. Prannoy, a previous top ten player, then will encounter between Rasmus Gemke of Denmark or Brice Leverdez of France. Among several Indians competing, Sameer Verma finished his campaign in the second round with a 10-21 13-21 loss to Malaysia’s world number five Lee Zii Jia.
Sameer’s sixth defeat against Lee in seven matches.
In the women’s doubles category, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also exited the event after losing 16-21 13-21 against top seeds Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan of China.
The men’s doubles duo of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila also lost 19-21 15-21 against Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi of China.
In the first half of the men’s singles match, Prannoy simply controlled the game, gaining the initiative early to lead 11-3 with a spectacular cross court leap smash.
Prannoy, on the other hand, was unpredictable after the break, and his unforced errors allowed Ng Long to gain a few points before Indian launched another cross-court smash and made some good decisions at the baseline to maintain his lead.
Prannoy’s movement was fluid as he mixed up strokes and adjusted the tempo nicely, and with his opponent making errors, he had no trouble comfortably closing out the match.
With a perfect smash, he advanced to nine game point potential and secured it.
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