Jakarta: Rising Indian shuttler HS Prannoy’s giant-killing spree came to a halt after he squandered five match points in the second set before going down to Japanese qualifier Kazumasa Sakai 21-17, 26-28, 18-21 in the semifinal in 77 minutes.
After winning the first game, Prannoy had four chances to close out the tie in the second, but wasted all of them. Sakai, on the other hand hit a beautiful drop at 27-26 to win the second set.
In the decider, Sakai surged to a quick 6-4 lead and held on to the lead all through the game to emerge winner.
Meanwhile, another Indian player – the 24-year-old Kidambi Srikanth dished out a fantastic display, upsetting World No. 1 Son Wan Ho of Korea 21-15, 18-21, 24-22 in an energy-sapping men’s singles semifinal that lasted an hour and 12 minutes.
After winning the first set, Srikanth was struggling midway in the second set and committed a lot of unforced errors to allowed Son to force the match to the decider.
The drift in the stadium made both players difficult to control the shuttlecocks in the decider. The World No. 22 Srikanth who had a 2-4 head-to-head record against Son prior to Saturday’s match, raised his game to play his trademark half smashes and net dribbles, and emerged victorious when Son’s tap landed out of bound.
Sunday’s Indonesia Open final will be Srikanth’s 4th Super Series final. The Indian lost to compatriot B. Sai Praneeth in the Singapore Open final last month and won the 2014 China Open and 2015 India Open.