New Zealand Open: HS Prannoy Advances to Quarters, Sai Praneeth and Manu-Sumeeth Out
New Zealand Open Super 300: HS Prannoy beat Tommy Sugiarto to advance to the quarter-finals to remain the only Indian in fray.
HS Prannoy will take on Japan's Kanta Tsuneyama in the quarters of New Zealand Open. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Auckland: HS Prannoy remained the only Indian in fray at the New Zealand Open on Thursday after B Sai Praneeth and the men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy bowed out earlier on the day.
With Saina Nehwal's shock knockout on Wednesday, the burden of a good showing in the tournament lied with the men's singles players. While Prannoy stayed on course, Praneeth crashed out.
Prannoy took out second seed Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia 21-14, 21-12 in just 37 minutes to advance to the quarter-finals in Auckland.
Sai Praneeth had an extremely difficult task in front of him in the last 16 as he was up against multiple time Olympic gold medallist and Malaysia Open 2019 winner Lin Dan.
Praneeth looked tired and could hardly pose a challenge against a solid Lin Dan.
Lin Dan has been erratic for the past year or so but on Thursday, he was solid with his game and hardly gave Praneeth an inch. Praneeth attempted to snatch some points but could only muster an 11-21, 12-21 defeat.
Praneeth stood up at the court against Lin Dan for only 37 minutes before the legend of the sport advanced to the quarters.
Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy lost to seventh seed Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong 17-21, 19-21 in 36 minutes.
World No.22 pair of Manu-Sumeeth failed to match up to the Malaysia world No.15 pair despite giving an extremely good fight.
Manu-Sumeeth have upped their game and have shown a lot of improvement in the past year or so and they attempted to cause an upset on Thursday but fell short.
Prannoy now remains the only Indian still in contention for a medal finish at the New Zealand Open.
Prannoy used his defensive abilities and court craft to good use against Sugiarto whose many errors cost him the match.
Prannoy is still trying to make a full comeback to the circuit after struggling with gut issues in the last one year.
Prannoy will next take on fifth seed Kanta Tsuneyama for a spot in the semi-final. Prannoy and Tsuneyama have played each other only once before on the BWF circuit - 2017 US Open - where the Indian beat the Japanese in three games.
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