Japan Open 2019: Sai Praneeth bows out in the semifinal

Catch all the updates from the USD 750,000 Daihatsu Yonex Japan Open 2019 from the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza at Tokyo in Japan.

Sai Praneeth faces Kento Momota in the Japan Open 2019 semifinal.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Sai Praneeth’s inspiring run comes to an end as Kento Momota cruises into his second straight final in Tokyo. The world No 1 will take on either Jan O Jorgensen or Jonatan Christie on Sunday.

That's the match for Momota. He beats Praneeth 21-18, 21-12 to enter the finals.

9:25 AM: The wheels are now coming off Praneeth's challenge and Momota races to a seven-point lead at 19-12.

9:23 AM: Excellent challenge from Momota sees him keep the three-point lead at 15-12.

9:18 AM: After a promising start, Praneeth's let the advantage slip with the momentum now swinging in favour of Momota. The Japanese overturns a 6-9 deficit to make it 12-9 with the help of six straight points.

9:14 AM: Praneeth's not giving an inch either. He opens up a three-point lead at 9-6.

9:12 AM: Momota isn't letting going to let the lead stand for too long. He draws level at 5-5. Momota's relying on those big jump smashes while his Indian counterpart resorts to cross court smashes and drop shots.

9:08 AM: A slew of smashes between the two shuttlers and Praneeth takes an early 2-1 lead. He's trying to prise out Momota here.

Second game gets underway.

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9:05 AM: That's it! Momota seals first game but Praneeth put up a brave fight. 21-18.

9:03 AM: Praneeth isn't giving up. He is using his cross-court skills to tire Momota out. 20-18.

9:01 AM: Jump smash by Praneeth; nearly touches the line but point for the Indian. 18-14.

8:58 AM: Great comeback by Praneeth as he earns a crucial one point to get to 12. The Indian is closing in; the deceptive dropshot seems to be his weapon. 15-12.

8: 54 am: Praneeth is executing the cross court drops rather well but Momota's nimble approach has enabled him to be sharp on every return. Praneeth is hanging on. It's 13-11 in favour of Momota.

8:50 am: Momota surges forward 10-6. He is upping the ante, is the Japanese. Praneeth is fighting back but is finding Momota's intensity hard to match at the moment.

8:44 am: Barely two minutes into the match and we already have a crackerjack of a contest with Momota drawing level at 3-3 following an excellent rally. This was after Praneeth had surged forward courtesy good placement and deft drop shots.

Right, here we go. A change of shuttle upfront.

Praneeth, Momota warming up with a few rallies. The action will be underway soon.

Both players are making their way to the court. While Momota's the hot favourite here, Praneeth's form will keep him upbeat going into this crunch encounter!

Here is a quick recap of what transpired on Friday.

Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu crashed out of the Japan Open badminton tournament after a second successive defeat to local favourite Akane Yamaguchi while B. Sai Praneeth continued his good form to advance to the semifinals here on Friday.

Sindhu lost to Yamaguchi 21-18, 21-15 in a 50-minute quarterfinal match. This was Sindhu’s second defeat at the hands of the Japanese, who had beaten the Indian in the final of the Indonesian Open last week.

However, in men’s singles, Sai Praneeth recorded an easy win over Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto to reach the semifinals. His 21-12, 21-15 win fetched him a clash against top-seeded Japanese Kento Momota.

The unseeded Indian led almost all through the first game leaving the former World Championship bronze-medallist Indonesian to play the catch-up game.

 

Where to watch the matches in India?

The Japan Open matches will be telecast live on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 2 HD. You can also live stream the matches on Hotstar.

Good morning! Hello and welcome to live updates of the Japan Open 2019 semifinal where B. Sai Praneeth will lock horns with World No. 1 and home favourite, Kento Momota.