Indonesia Open: Prannoy stuns Lin Dan, Saina notches up easy win

Prannoy trumped the iconic shuttler 21-15, 9-21, 21-14 to sail into the next round.

This was the Indian shuttler’s second win in three outings against the legendary Chinese.   -  AFP

H.S. Prannoy stunned badminton legend Lin Dan while compatriot Sameer Verma pipped Rasmus Gemke of Denmark to advance to the second round of the Indonesia Open badminton event, here, on Tuesday.

World No. 13 Prannoy took exactly an hour to prevail over the Chinese stalwart 21-15, 9-21, 21-14 in the first round of the men’s singles in the World Tour Super 1000 event.

Prannoy started off well against eighth-ranked Lin Dan, winning the first game 21-15. However, the Chinese shuttler came back strong to win the second 21-9 and level the match.

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Prannoy then dug deep into his reserves to clinch the decider 21-14 at the USD 1,250,000 event. Prannoy had earlier beaten Lin Dan at the 2015 French Open.

“I am really happy, I had a couple of months off. Getting back to the tournament was really great. Having such a big win against Lin Dan, that too in such tough conditions, especially the drifts, is great,” Prannoy said after the match.

“The way I played the first game was very good from my side, especially the crucial juncture in the third game, around after the 11, was really crucial to get that big win. Looking forward to the second round matches.”

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In the second round, Prannoy plays Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei who defeated India’s Sai Praneeth 21-10, 21-13 in another men’s singles first-round match.

Saina, on the other hand, needed 35 minutes to notch up a straight-set (21-12, 21-12) win over her Indonesian opponent.

In the first game, the Olympic medallist Indian led from the start to end. She opened up a 7-2 lead before Ayustine closed the gap at 6-7. That was the closest the Indonesian could go as Saina won her points in quick time. Saina zoomed to 17-9 and, then, grabbed the first game without any difficulty.

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The second game was also a cakewalk for Saina as she won nine points on the trot after both the players were tied 1-1. Ayustine recovered some lost ground, but Saina ensured that the match ended in two games.

In other matches, Sameer Verma pipped Rasmus Gemke of Denmark 21-9, 12-21, 22-20 to advance to the men’s singles second round, while the women’s doubles pair of Jakkampudi Meghana and Poorvisha S. Ram went down to the Indonesian pair of Agatha Imanuela and Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti 11-21, 18-21.

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