Indian star shuttler HS Prannoy has had a brilliant win on his comeback from a back injury in the Japan Masters 2023 Super 500 tournament. Prannoy, who won the bronze medal at the 2023 Asian Games. He suffered a back issue during the continental games but he didn’t give up before clinching the historic medal at the Asian Games.
The world number 8 prevailed over Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu in three games 22-20, 19-21, 21-17. It was a hard-fought affair for the veteran shuttler but he held his nerves brilliantly to progress to the next round.
Prannoy started the first game brilliantly taking a 14-7 lead over the Lee Cheuk Yiu. However, the Hong Kong shuttler fought back brilliantly to level the score at 20-20. But Prannoy held his nerves and won the first game.
Lee proved his mettle in the second game and troubled Prannoy with his deception as he won the second game 21-19. Prannoy gave a tough fight but Lee was very confident with his shot-making and his movement. ‘
In the decider, both shuttlers gave a tough fight and there was hardly anything to differentiate between them at 15-15. But Prannoy had a great spell of play when he raced into the lead and closed out the decider 21-17 to progress to the next round.
Prannoy remains the only Indian representative at the tournament now after Lakshya Sen was beaten in the first round after losing to local favourite Kodai Naraoka. The Indian shuttler lost to him in 45 minutes on straight games 17-21, 10-21.
In the first game, Naraoka started with a brilliant 9-2 lead and was always on top despite Lakshya’s best efforts, the Japanese closed out the game 21-17. While there was some fight from the Indian in the first game, the Japanese dominated him in the second one. The two shuttlers were tied at 10-10 before Naraoka won 11 consecutive points to close out the match.
Earlier Priyanshu Rajawat also bowed out after losing 21-15, 21-12 to world no. 21 Lin Chun-Yi of Chinese Taipei. Lin took a mere 32 minutes to knock out Priyanshu.
On Tuesday, the biggest shocker was when men’s doubles parking Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also got knocked out in the first round of the Japan Masters.