New Delhi: World No. 1 women’s singles player Tai Tzu Ying and World No. 10 men’s singles player HS Prannoy helped Ahmedabad Smash Masters to outplay Hyderabad Hunters 4-3 in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) tie on Friday.
The Indian badminton fans did not get to see the much-anticipated match-up between Tai Tzu Ying and Rio Olympic gold medalists Carolina Marin as Marin has to pull out from the match-up citing illness. Hyderabad Hunters then sent Indian youngster Rasika Raje to take Marin’s place but she lost to Tai in straight sets 5-15, 6-15.
Reginald Lee Chun Hei and Kamilla Rytter Juhl gave Ahmedabad Smash Masters an early lead as they defeated Hunters’ Satwiksairaj and Pia Zebadiah 4-15, 15-12, 15-8 in the opening mixed doubles match.
Nevertheless, the 37-year-old Lee Hyun Il of Hyderabad Hunters levelled the affairs when he overcame Sourabh Verma 15-9 15-11 in the first men’s singles match.
After Tai’s victory which had given Ahmedabad Smash Masters a 2-1 lead, World No. 10 HS Prannoy extended his unbeaten run playing in Ahmedabad Smash Masters’ Trump match.
Prannoy, who is also the reigning Indian national champion, eased past fellow countryman and World No. 16 Sai Praneeth 15-10, 15-8 in the second men’s singles match to give his team an unassailable 4-1 lead in the tie.
In the inconsequential men’s doubles, Kidambi Nandagopal and Reginald Lee Chun Hei of Masters were up against Markis Kido and Yoo Yeong Seong of Hyderabad Hunters. The Hunters were able to pull one back with Kido and Yoo winning 15-14, 15-11.