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World No. 1 Chong Wei beats Prannoy

World No. 1 Chong Wei beats Prannoy
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HS Prannoy may have lost his men’s singles quarterfinal of the India Open Friday but he gained the respect of World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, who lauded the Indian’s performance.

After winning the match 21-14, 21-19, the top seeded Malaysian said Prannoy is a spirited fighter and one of India’s upcoming talents.

‘This is the first time I played him and he played very well. He is a spirited fighter. I think he is one of India’s upcoming talents. In the second game Prannoy played very well to lead the game most of the time,’ said Lee.

Lee also lauded Indian shuttlers saying it is great for India to have seven quarterfinalists in the home tournament. ‘I know Saina Nehwal lost yesterday but you had seven Indian players in the quarterfinals which I think is very good.

This is possibly India’s best outing in a Super Series tournament. Indian shuttlers are doing very well,’ said the 30-year-old, who earlier this month became a father.

 Asked if the tournament was an easy outing for him, Lee said: ‘No match is easy because you always have to fight. I tried my best in today’s match.

I am not really playing my best as I did not prepare well for this tournament. You have to remember my son was born recently so I did not get any time to practice.’ Earlier in the tournament Parupalli Kashyap and favourite Saina Nehwal crashed out.    


ENG COACH ALL PRAISE FOR SAINA, GOPI


England’s chief coach Jokob Hoi has hailed Pullela Gopichand for changing the Indian badminton scene and is all praise for the country’s Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal. Hoi said Indian badminton owes its success to Gopichand, an All-England Champion. The Englishman feels Indian badminton has grown rapidly in the last 10 years because youngsters now have great role models in Gopichand and Saina. ‘Indian badminton has improved dramatically in the last five years. Since the 2009 World Championships in Hyderabad, some good players have emerged. India have a good crop of players in singles, especially in men’s. Gopichand has been the difference in the last 10 years with his standout coaching and game style,’ said the coach.


P V SINDHU BOOKS SEMIFINAL BERTH

P V Sindhu kept India’s hopes alive in women’s singles by entering the semifinals of the India Open Super Series badminton tournament with a straight games win over Yui Hashimoto of Japan, on Friday. The 17-year-old Sindhu, who had beaten former World No.1 Shixian Wang of China at the Badminton Asia Championships in Taipei last week, continued her good form to get the better of Hashimoto 21-16 21-16 in 47 minutes. Hashimoto, who defeated Saina Nehwal on Thursday, looked no match for Sindhu. In the opening game, Sindhu started off with a bang, quickly opening up a 11-4 lead and in no time she extended it to 19-9. But just when things seemed to be in total control of the Indian, Hashimoto raised her game. She went on to win nine points on the trot, mainly taking advantage of unforced errors from Sindhu, to reduce the gap to 16-19. The Hyderabadi, who had the cushion of a ten-point lead, showed a lot of patience and clinched the next two points to seal off the first game, 21-16. The second game was a neck-and-neck battle with none of the players sparing an inch. There was never a difference of more than three points between them and that continued till 14-14 before Sindhu won another three straight points to take it to 17-14. The game involved long rallies that Sindhu managed to win by hitting powerful smashes. Although the Japanese earned a couple of more points but in the end, Sindhu comfortably prevailed over her opponent. ‘My opponent made mistakes and that made the difference,’ said Sindhu after the match.
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