HS Prannoy, MR Arjun-Dhruv Kapila Shown the Exit Door

India’s Thomas Cup hero HS Prannoy and the men’s doubles pairing of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila were ousted from the Singapore Open in identical fashion despite clinching the opening game.

Prannoy lost his quarterfinal match against Kodai Naraoka of Japan 21- 12, 14-21, 18-21. While the men’s doubles unit surrendered the match to the Indonesian duo of Mohamed Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 21-10, 18-21, 17-21.

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Prannoy got off to a quick start and dominated the first game as he never conceded the lead but once as Naraoka levelled momentarily at 4-all. But, that would be the last time in the game that the Japanese shuttler got close to Prannoy as the Indian raced away to 21 points.

But, things took a turn in the second game as despite going a point ahead a couple of times in the second game, Prannoy couldn’t make his advantage stick. From the point the scores were tied at 8- all, Naraoka went on a streak to give himself some breathing space to race away and win the second game to set up a third game decider.

In the third game, Prannoy’s Japanese opponent looked comfortable as he never surrendered the initial lead he had managed to establish. Naraoka went on to win the game and consequentially the match.

Things looked eerily similar in the adjacent court as the Indian duo won the opening game only to end up conceding the following two games.

The Indian team had swept away the Indonesian side in the initial game as they seemed primed for the win. Arjun and Kapila looked devastatingly good and picked up the first game with ease.

But, the opposition pair of Ahsan and Setiawan regrouped and came out for the second game with a new strategy. In a thrilling second game that saw the lead exchange hand quite a few times, the Indonesian pair did just enough to finish up before the Indians could push them to deuce.

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It all came down to the third set, which was also a gritty affair. But, then again, the Indonesian duo dug deep and pulled off the victory to wrap up the fixture in just under 50 minutes.

Earlier, Indian veteran Saina Nehwal succumbed in an agonising fashion to Aya Ohori of Japan 13-21, 21-15, 20-22.

PV Sindhu remains the only Indian hope at the tournament after progressing to the semifinal of the event after getting the better of Han Yue of China 17-21, 21-11, 21-19.

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