Star Indian shuttler HS Prannoy produced another impressive performance to enter the men’s singles quarterfinals with a thrilling win over Indonesia’s Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo of the Malaysia Open 2023 Super 750 tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
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The world number 8 Indian beat world number 19 Chico 21-9 15-21 21-16 in one hour and four minutes. The 30-year-old from Kerala will next face Ng Tze Yong of Malaysia or Kodai Naraoka of Japan. For Prannoy, it was his second meeting with Chico, who defeated him at the 2018 Syed Modi International.
Prannoy got off to a good start showing better control and his attack also earned him dividends as he took a 7-5 lead before taking an 11-5 cushion at the interval. With Chico struggling with drift conditions, Prannoy ran away from the opening game. After the change of ends, Chico showed better control. He took a 6-2 lead after a net exchange with his opponent. The Indonesian player fired more attacks and soon took an 11-5 lead at the interval. Both players wanted to push each other in the rallies. But Prannoy made mistakes in his finishing as Chico took a 17-11 lead with a reverse slice. The Indonesian soon came back in the contest by converting five game points.
In the decider, Prannoy produced some precise returns to take a 5-2 lead. He managed to drive his opponent back and forth with his angled returns, drawing errors to take a handsome five-point lead at the break. Prannoy was spot on with his shot selection, landing straight and cross-court smashes to collect points from his diving opponent. Chico played some good shots but was inconsistent during the rallies as Prannoy established a five-point advantage at 17-12. Another razor-sharp straight jump smash followed by another shot down the backline gave Prannoy six match points. The Indonesian made two saves before sending one over the net after Prannoy celebrated.
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On the other hand, Commonwealth Games bronze medalists Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly went down 13-21 21-15 17-21 to Bulgaria’s Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva in the women’s doubles pre-quarterfinals that lasted one hour and nine minutes.