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BWF World Tour Finals: Fighting Prannoy loses to Naraoka in opening group game
12/7/2022 11:21:50 PM
NEW DELHI, Dec 7: India's HS Prannoy fought hard before going down in three games to rising Japanese Kodai Naraoka in the opening men's singles group A match at the BWF World Tour Finals here on Wednesday.
The World No. 12 Indian showed superb recovery after the opening game reversal and kept fighting in the decider before three unforced errors at the back end saw him lose 11-21 21-9 17-21 to Naraoka in an hour long contest.
It was his second defeat to the Japanese, having suffered a loss in their only meeting in Singapore Open in July.
"I thought I was in control for most part of the game but after 15-15 in the third game, I thought I started rushing and made errors from my end. Probably, it was a bad strategy, I should have been more patient," the 30-year-old said after the match.
"Coming into the good side (after change of ends in decider), I could have been more patient. I was doubting myself in couple of areas in third game. May be lack of match practice made it uncomfortable." Prannoy will next face China's Lu Guang Zu, an opponent he had lost to in his only meeting at French Open this year.
"All the matches are going to be tough but I have to shrug it off and get ready for tomorrow's match." Against the 21-year-old Naraoka, Prannoy, who was playing with a heavily strapped right knee, tried to make up for his lack of speed with his superior net play.
After Naroaka jumped to a 6-3 early lead, the Indian calmly narrowed it down to 6-7 but the Japanese managed to enter the mid-game interval with a healthy five-point advantage when Prannoy's shot went long.
Prannoy produced some effortless smashes on his rival's backhand but he struggled with the length to give away points.
Naraoka produced a quick body return and also unleashed some angled returns to quickly move to 16-7. A lovely straight smash helped Prannoy move to double figures.
However, with Prannoy not able to lunge forward due to his knee niggle, Naraoka quickly pocketed the opening game with a booming straight smash.
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