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Saina and Prannoy settles for bronze at Badminton Asia Championship 2018

By: Swetha Reddy
Date: 30 Apr, 2018
Image Courtesy: PBL Facebook

India’s Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy won bronze at the Badminton Asia Championships after losing in the semi finals to Tai Tzu Ying and Chen Long respectively in Wuhan on Saturday.


In the straight games, both the players lost to the defending champions - Saina with 25-27, 19-21 in 45 minutes and Prannoy with 16-21, 18-21 in weary match of 52-minutes.


Out of 16 meetings in her career with Tai, this is her 8th straight loss of Saina, recently being at the Indonesia Open final and All England Open Championship this year. Unlike her previous losses, the semi-final match at the Badminton Asia Championship was a thrilling contest as Saina, with her confidence and fitness, fought as hard as she could be against the tough Tai.


In the opening game, Tai gave a good lead of 4-1 and sooner she went on with a three-point advantage at 6-3 before a few loose shots from her helped Saina to narrow the gap to one point.


By the breather, the Chinese Taipei girl grabbed the big lead with 11-6 after Saina went wide.


The game went on neck-to-neck with 15-15 and then 17-17 to take a 18-17 lead for the first time in the game. Sain caught hold of two game points to her advantage at 20-18, but her judgemental error gave Tai two points straight to make the score 20-20.


As the ame points exchanged hand to hand, both the players awaiting to outwit each other. In the end, the Indian let go of the bird, which was advantage for Tai to take the game.


In the second game, Saina continued with the same stride, who caught hold of her opponent’s error to take a 4-3 lead. With her agility and flexibility, Tai covered the court to take a 10-7 lead and was with two points advantage at the break with 11-9.


With her angled smashes, Tai defeated Saina and made her to settle with bronze.


In the Men’s Singles match, Prannoy opened up the match with a 5-2 lead before Chen levelled the score with three quick points with 5-5. And by the half time, it was the Chinese who led the game with 11-10.


After few long rallies and amazing display of their athletic strokes, Chen maintained the lead at 15-11. While Prannoy burying himself with the row of errors, Chen was able to judge well at the baselines which moved him up to 19-14 lead, followed by the body smash to take the game point. Prannoy saved two game points, both at the nets, but his it was Chen who sealed the game.


After the change of sides, Chen once again jumped to a 3-0 lead. Prannoy won a lucky net chord and then smashed to make it 3-3. Prannoy, however, continued to find the going tough. In the end, it was a blind return on the move by Chen which gave him an 11-6 lead at the breather.


Prannoy reduced the deficit with smashes to 10-11, but Chen continued his amazing stride to a 19-16 lead. The Indian gave three match points to the Chinese to settle for bronze.



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