Pranaav-Sikki lose in Japan Open semi-finals
Tokyo: India's campaign ended at the Japan Open Super Series after the mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy suffered a narrow loss in the semi-finals, here on Saturday.
Pranaav and Sikki, who had clinched the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold title at Lucknow this year, squandered the opening game advantage to go down 21-14 15-21 19-21 to the local pair of Takuro Hoki and Sayaka Hirota. During the 60-minute battle, the Indian pair fought hard, managing a 7-4 lead early on which was erased by the Japanese combo quickly at 9-9.
But the Indians moved ahead with a short burst of points to eventually grab the opening game comfortably.
Takuro and Sayaka changed gears in the second and led 4-1 before entering the break at 11-8. Pranaav and Sikki reduced the deficit to 13-15 before the Japanese combo walked away with the game to bounce back into the contest.
The decider turned into a roller-coaster ride initially as both the pairs fought tooth and nail till 8-8 when the Japanese combo opened up a 13-9 lead.
The hosts kept their nose ahead despite the Indians breathing down their neck.