Prannoy-Srikanth Facebook

End of good run at Japan Open for Srikanth Kidambi and Prannoy HS

By: Phalgun
Date: 22 Sep, 2017
Image Courtesy: Prannoy-Srikanth Facebook

Curtains down for India’s top players Srikanth Kidambi and HS Prannoy at Japan Open Super Series who had a close and tough match against the World No. 2 Viktor Axelsen and Shi Yuqi respectively.


The unseeded and recent US Open champion, H. S. Prannoy lost to the World no. 4 China’s Shi Yuqi with 15-21, 14-21 earlier today at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Tokyo.

The game started in the favour of Shi Yuqi, but in no time, the Indian contended to the game with 5-4. With three consecutive points, the Chinese took over the lead with 8-5. Yuqi with his healthy lead made Prannoy to stifle and get into the deep trouble with the 5 point huge difference at 13-18. The fighting spirit of Prannoy hasn’t changed right from the beginning and dragged the game to 13-20 and saved two points before Yuqi sealed the first game with 21-15.

The second game started with the exchange of competitive serves and tied the score till 5-5. Scoring four consecutive points thereafter, Yuqi dominated the proceedings and had complete control over the opponent with 4 point lead making the score to 9-5. Prannoy with his best moves managed the scores and came close to Yuqi with 3 point difference, making the scores to 11-14.

The Chinese took no time reaching the game point 20-13 by not committing any errors and continued his dominant performance throughout the game, trouncing Prannoy with an ease and progressed into the semi-finals with 21-14.

Losing its one off the top player in the tournament, India has all its eyes on the 25-year old Srikanth Kidambi, who clinched back-to-back titles at Indonesia and Australia. Fighting against the world champion Axelsen, Srikanth failed to match the agility of the Dane committing few errors; ousted in the quarterfinals of Japan Open Super Series at Tokyo today. After two intense close matches, Srikanth lost to Axelsen with 21-17, 21-17 in 40 minutes.


In the opener game, Srikanth gave the early lead to the Dane with 0-2. At 4-4, Srikanth caught up Viktor with an amazing cross-court shot; dragging who’s-in-the-lead game to 10-10, gave the least inch to the opponent. Srikanth returned the bird with his cross-court and drop shots allowing the opponent to trail now and then. A smooth defensive shot from Axelsen at 16-16 made the game closer and tougher for both the players. The tall and swift Axelsen gave no time to Srikanth to get back in the game after 17-17. With 4 consecutive points, Axelsen conquered the game with 21-17 finishing with a splendid smash and amazing execution.


As the second game begun, Srikanth started his early domination on World No 2 by 20-shot rally at 1-2. Srikanth, in his good groove at the moment gave all his best to be the upper hand with 8-6 before the Dane levelled him at 9-9 and lead at the break with 10-11. The players pouring the cross court angled smashes and fabulous rallies in the right form; pumped up by his powerful smashes, Axelsen dominated with the lead 13-15.


The players being not just the rivals to each other but also the persons with the sportsmanship spirit. Srikanth acknowledged his saved point against Axelsen with the high-five at 16-18. With three match points advantage, the Dane seized the game again with 21-17 and dusted all the hopes for Indian.


A tough luck for Srikanth, who gave all his best but Axelsen was just too good in the end.


With this win, Axelsen is in lead with 3-2 head-to-head face offs over Srikanth, having won the last three duels; last one being at the All India Open in Delhi. 

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