Indonesia Open: Prannoy beats Ng Ka Long Angus to enter quarter-finals
One of the heroes of India’s epic Thomas Cup victory, HS Prannoy continued his stellar form as he entered the quarter-finals of the Indonesia Open Super 1000 tournament with a straight game win over Ng Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong on Thursday (June 16). to continue. The 29-year-old from Kerala, who is desperate to break his five-year title drought, put up another impressive performance to beat NG Long 21-11, 21-18 in a second round match that lasted 41 minutes. It was the fourth win for 27-year-old Prannoy, who is currently ranked 12th in the world.
Former top 10 player Prannoy will next face either Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke or France’s Bryce Leverdez. Among other Indians, Sameer Verma ended his campaign in the second round after losing 10-21, 13-21 to world No. 5 Lee Ji Jia of Malaysia. This was Sameer’s fifth defeat in seven matches against Lee.
Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also crashed out of the women’s doubles event after losing 16-21, 13-21 to top seeds Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan of China. Men’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila also lost 19-21, 15-21 to Liu Yu Chen and O Xuan Yi of China.
In the men’s singles competition, it was all courtship in the first half of the opening game as he only dominated the proceedings, grabbing the initiative to lead 11-3 with a sensational cross court jump smash. Prannoy, however, was uncertain after the interval and his unforced errors allowed NG Long to collect some points before the Indian made another cross court smash and made some solid decisions at the baseline to move on.
Congratulations @PRANNOYHSPRI on your win!! way to go pic.twitter.com/gZTjEXPPtN — (@riesites) June 16, 2022
Prannoy’s move was smooth as he mixed shots and changed the pace well and with his opponent committing mistakes, he had no problem closing the match comfortably. He went on to nine game point opportunities with a perfect smash and sealed it when his opponent went to the net.
Former Commonwealth Games bronze medalist RMV Gurusaidutt’s presence in the coach’s chair also helped Prannoy as he was seen interacting with the player during the mid-game hiatus. Gurusaidutt is on his first assignment with the Indian team after retiring from the game.
Ng Long did better in the second game as his moves improved and he managed to stay in the rallies but Prannoy did well to put his nose up 9-7 with a return to his opponent’s back hand corner did. He had a two-point cushion in the middle of the game after the Hong Kong player was again wide.
The Indian extended his lead to 16-11. Ng Long made the occasional winner, but he was very uncertain, while Prannoy smashed another jump and was out again. In the end, a perfect return to the baseline gave Prannoy four match points. They missed two before converting the third opportunity with a blistering smash after a spectacular rally.