HS Prannoy upsets Chen Long to enter Indonesia Open semis

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HS Prannoy on strong run at Indonesia Open. (photo: AP)
HS Prannoy on strong run at Indonesia Open. (photo: AP)

Jakarta: Indian shuttler H.S. Prannoy who defeated No. 1 seed Lee Chong Wei on Thursday, continued his giant-killing spree to stun reigning Olympic champion Chen Long of China on Friday to enter Indonesia Open semi-finals.

Prannoy who had a 0-3 career meeting record against Chen prior to the match, traded some impressive badminton shots against Chen in the first set. Prannoy took the lead at 10-7, then went from 14-8 to claim the first set 21-18.

Chen Long had a very solid and aggressive second set, he won the game 21-16 with a series of strong defenses.

Both Prannoy and Chen have been neck-and-neck on every rally in the decider. Prannoy almost let the victory slip through his fingers when Chen Long fought back from 18-20 to close the gap at 19-20. Fortunately, Prannoy was able to hold his nerve, finished the business by winning the third set 21-19.

This was one of Prannoy’s biggest victory in his young career, not to mention he has to deal with visa and lost baggage problems on his way to Jakarta.

Prannoy will meet Kazumasa Sakai of Japan next.

Another Indian player, Kidambi Srikanth also cruised into the semi-finals by beating the world No 19 Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei 21-15, 21-14. Srikanth will face No. 2 Son Wan Ho of Korea in the semi-finals.

In women’s singles, Nitchaon Jindapol of Thailand also pulled off a surprise by shocking No. 1 seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan 21-19, 8-21, 21-17 to clash with Sayaka Sato on Saturday.

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