H.S. Prannoy hogged all the limelight after he stunned Tommy Sugiarto in straight games to sail into the men’s singles quarterfinals of the New Zealand Open badminton tournament on Thursday. Unseeded Prannoy shocked second seed Sugiarto 21-14, 21-12 in 37 minutes to book his place in the last-eight round. He will take on fifth seed Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in the quarters.
But the day started on a bad note for India as B Sai Praneeth was blown away by star shuttler Lin Dan of China 12-21, 12-21. Seventh seed Lin Dan moved to the quarters where he will be up against top seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia. For Prannoy, this was his maiden meeting against world no. 13 Sugiarto.
Once Prannoy seized the initiative and took a 7-3 lead, there was no looking back as he extended it to 11-4. The Indian did well to close out the game at 21-14, and in the second game too braved a Sugiarto onslaught where he took the initial lead at 4-2, but Prannoy came back strongly to not only level the scores but nose ahead with four consecutive winners to take an 8-4 lead.
After taking the lead, Prannoy showed composure to seal the contest in his favour. Meanwhile, Indian men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth B Reddy finished second best against seventh seeds Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong of Malaysia 17-21, 19-21 in the second round.
On Wednesday, young Chinese shuttler Wang Zhiyi caused a major upset as the 19-year-old outclassed World no. 9 Saina Nehwal in a first-round match.