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HS Prannoy, Satwiksairaj-Chirag Shetty Enter Second Round Of China Masters


Star Indian shuttler HS Prannoy defeated Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei in straight games on Tuesday in Shenzhen, moving on to the second round of the China Masters Super 750 badminton tournament. The 31-year-old, who had missed a few events because of a back injury, defeated world number 12 Chen in the first round with a score of 21-18, 22-20, and avenged his defeat from the previous week in Japan. The bronze medallist from the Asian Games will next compete against Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong or Magnus Johannesen of Denmark.

To further establish a strong start, top seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, the current Asian Games gold medallists, easily defeated England’s Ben Lane and Sean Vendy 21-13 21-10.

The winners of the Commonwealth Games will next face Akira Koga and Taichi Saito of Japan.

The lone Indian competitor in the women’s singles division, Aakarshi Kashyap, lost 12-21 14-21 in 33 minutes to Zhang Yi Man of China, who was too hot to handle.

Despite having a 4-7 head-to-head disadvantage going into the match, world No. 8 Prannoy put on a resolute display to win against Chen.

At one point trailing 6-9, Prannoy turned the tide by scoring four points in a row to make it 12-10. Chen was within a point at 12–14, but the Indian gave his opponent little opportunity to win the first game handily.

Despite mostly trailing, Chen attempted to orchestrate a comeback and led 6-3 early in the second set, but a tenacious Prannoy kept him on his toes.

The Indian had managed to scrape together an 8–6 lead, but Chen surged ahead to 12–10 and maintained that lead until 18–16, when Prannoy overtook him to end the match.

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