Korea Open: Parupalli Kashyap Bows Out With Semi-final Loss to Kento Momota
Parupalli Kashyap lost to Japan's Kento Momota 13-21, 15-21 in the semi-final of the Korea Open.
Parupalli Kashyap (Photo Credit: BAI/Twitter)
Parupalli Kashyap lost to world No 1 and two-time world champion Kento Momota of Japan in Incheon on Saturday.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist fought hard but lost 13-21, 15-21 in a 40-minute semi-final clash.
In head-to-head matches, Kashyap has never beaten Momota, losing twice before, 21-12, 17-21, 19-21 in the semi-final of the 2015 Indonesia Open and 11-21, 12-21 at the 2013 China Open quarter-final. And that does not change after this match.
The 33-year-old from Hyderabad, who had reached the finals at Canada Open this year, showed the intent to hang in the rallies as the duo played a lot of tosses and lifts.
However, Kashyap had no answers to Momota's precision as the Japanese opened up a 9-5 lead early on. A deceptive return and a body smash gave the Indian a couple of points before the Japanese entered the break with a four-point advantage after a long rally.
Kashyap didn't take enough initiative and often hit wide and long to end the energy-sapping rallies. It acted in Momota's favour as he continued to accumulate points, reaching 18-10.
The Japanese committed an uncharacteristic unforced error and soon Kashyap added two more points but unforced errors, including a wide shot, gave Momota a comfortable 20-13 lead and he sealed it when Kashyap went wide again.
In the second game, the rallies became faster as Momota produced angled returns to put Kashyap out of position and then unleashed his precise strokes.
The left-handed Momota soon worked up a lead of 7-2 with Kashyap missing the line far too many times.
Kashyap slowly started putting pressure on Momota and gathered five straight points but the Japanese managed to held on to a 11-7 lead at the breather.
The Indian unleashed a couple of smashes on Momota's forehand to slowly narrow the lead to 11-12. A superb net stroke brought Kashyap to level par but he then hit the nets and send one long as the Japanese again surged ahead.
Momota soon made it 19-13 and grabbed six match points with a cross court smash. Kashyap saved one before the Japanese unleashed another accurate return to seal his place in the summit clash.
Kashyap, in the quarter-final, had defeated former world No 2 Denmark's Jan O Jorgensen 24-22 21-8 in 37 minutes to make it to his second semi-final of the season.
In the second round, Kasyap had beaten Daren Liew of Malaysia 21-17 11-21 21-12 in 56 minutes. He had registered a comfortable 21-16, 21-16 win over Lu Chia Hung of Chinese Taipei in the first round of the tournament.
Kashyap was the lone Indian left in the fray in the BWF World Tour Super 500 tournament after PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and B Sai Praneeth all made early-round exits.
(With PTI inputs)
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