Jakarta: India's HS Prannoy lost to China's Zhao Jun Peng in the men's singles semifinal match of Indonesia Open Super 1000 badminton games in straight sets and bowed out of the tournament on Saturday, PTI reported.
The world-number-23 couldn't find his rhythm, precision or control, which backed him in his earlier matches in the tournament, and he lost semis 16-21 15-21 to the Chinese in the 40-minute game.
Prannoy was meeting Jun Peng for the first time in international badminton.
Even from the start, India had fallen behind and struggled to keep pace with its opponent's rallies. Jun Peng, the left-hander, was very good with his smashes as well as his hold-and-flick shots, catching Prannoy off guard. Before the interval in the first set, Jun Peng was well ahead with 11-6.
Prannoy briefly looked to dictate the pace in the rallies and narrowed the deficit to 14-16 with the help of some good strokes.
Later Prannoy managed to reduce the lead, and the score reached 14-16 with some good strokes. But the Chinese worked well with a wide shot and a long return, later grabbing five-game points with a cross-court smash.
In the next set, the Indian made an initial lead of 6-4, but he couldn't keep the lead alive as he committed mistakes. He miscued his strokes, going wide or ending up at the net. He also couldn't take the Jun Peng's flat exchanges, and his returns were weak, which invited punishment from the Chinese. Jun Peng simply dominated the second set and got 4 point lead before the interval.
After the break, the Chinese went aggressive while the Indian lost his very control ending up on nets. Prannoy lost a video referral too at 9-17. Later, an error from Jun Peng also went waste after Prannoy gave a wide return giving the Chinese eight match points. Jun Peng sealed the set as well as the game in style.