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Japan Open : PV Sindhu loses, Sai Praneeth enters semi-finals
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Japan Open : PV Sindhu loses, Sai Praneeth enters semi-finals

Agency News

Tokyo, Jul 26 : India's medal hope vanished as PV Sindhu crashed out of the Japan Open Super 750 tournament after losing to Japan's Akane Yamaguchi in straight sets of the women's singles quarter-finals here on Friday.

Earlier, in men's singles, Sai Praneeth entered the semi-finals of the tournament after beating Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto 21-12, 21-15 in the quarter-final.

The Japanese downed the Indian 18-21, 15-21 in 50 minutes to cruise into the semi-finals of the prestigious Super 750 tournament. Both the players fought hard in the first set which was levelled at 3-3 before Sindhu displayed an attacking game to take a 11-7 lead into the first interval. However, fifth seed Sindhu failed to maintain the lead and the fourth seed Japanese fought hard and make the score 16-14 in her favour.

Sindhu managed to save first 2 game points with back-to-back smashes but Yamaguchi, with her impressive defensive skills, took the opening game 21-18 in 25 minutes.

In the second game, Sindhu made number of unforced errors since the start of the game to give Yamaguchi an early 2-4 lead. However, Sindhu kept showing glimpses of her trademark smash shots to level the game 6-6. But Yamaguchi, who looked at her very best, went into the mid-break with a four-point lead.

Yamaguchi continued with her momentum after the interval and earned 5 match points. The Indian saved one but another unforced error marked the end of Sindhu in the tournament as Yamaguchi finished the game by taking the second set 21-15.

Sai Praneeth was on the top of his game as he easily wrapped up the game in two games inside 36 minutes. The World No 23, a former Singapore Open champion, was in complete control of the proceedings against his higher-ranked opponent.

Notably, Sai Praneeth has become the first-ever Indian men's singles shuttler to reach the last-four stages at the prestigious Super 750 tournament in Tokyo.(UNI)