Japan Open 2022 | India campaign ends as HS Prannoy loses quarterbacks encounter

HS Prannoy lost to Chou Tien Chen of Taipei in the men’s singles quarterfinals, ending India’s participation in the Japan Open. Chou Tien Chen, who had won the bronze medal at the world championships, prevailed in three games against the 30-year-old Indian 21-17 15-21 22-20, in a match lasting more than ‘one o’clock.

Prannoy, one of the most reliable Indian players on the circuit this season, fought back admirably after a first loss and held his opponent to the ropes until the last point, but Chou’s tenacity eventually won him the match of the Super 750 competition. .

Prannoy and Chou engaged in a war of attrition before the match and Prannoy won the opener 12-8 thanks to his double wins over Chou in their previous two encounters. When Prannoy netted, Chou reversed the tables at 15-14. The Indian stumbled with his shot on net twice which energized the Taiwanese as he increased his lead to two points.

Prannoy sent a forehand into the net after delivering another hard return on his rival’s backhand, giving Chou three chances to score a winner. Chou won the title with a skillful crossover return.

After the side switch, Chou once again took a slim 5-4 lead before a lucky clean deal evened things up. Prannoy’s errors piled up as he lost 6-10, while Chou’s returns grew stiffer and his offense stronger. A big rally that Prannoy tried to dictate ended in a fortuitous clean deal for the Indian, who leveled at 10-10 as Chou struggled on the front court.

Prannoy, however, was unable to block a backhand ball, giving Chou the lead at the break. After the match resumed, Prannoy improved his defense and landed several effective smashes down the line to get ahead of his rival, who suddenly made a number of mistakes, especially in the front court.

Chou threw a cross smash on the Indian’s serve to halt the flow of play as Prannoy led 19–14. However, Prannoy made sure there was no setback by forcing Chou to hold on long as he finished the match. Prannoy’s poor play in the decider saw him trail 1-4 as he hit the shuttle wide. Chou went long three times before ending the arduous rally with a body smash to take the 6-4 lead.

Prannoy struggled to control the shuttle and a series of unforced errors saw Chou take a six-point halftime lead. The Taiwanese performed a body smash to hold a three-point advantage before earning opportunities to score three match points as the Indian headed for the net.

Prannoy saved the three game chances as Chou went wide twice and fired a smash down the line between the pair. However, Chou served the next point, giving his opponent another chance to win the match.

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