BWF World C’ships: Prannoy stuns 2nd seed Momota to set up RO16 clash v Sen

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India’s HS Prannoy registered a sensational win over second seed Kento Momota in straight games while defending Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen also advanced to the men’s singles pre-quarterfinals of the World Championships on Wednesday. Unseeded Prannoy rose above expectations to beat crowd favorite and two-time former world champion Momota 21-17, 21-16 in a second round match.

Incidentally, it was Prannoy’s first win over Momota in eight matches. In his previous clashes, the Indian won only one game against his highly rated Japanese rival.

Earlier in the day, defending Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen stormed into the pre-quarterfinals with a straight game win over Spain’s Luis Penalvar.

Young Indian badminton player Sen took 72 minutes to complete the formalities and won the second round 21-17, 21-10.

Prannoy and Sen will face each other in an all-India last 16 clash on Thursday. However, last edition’s runner-up Kidambi Srikanth crashed out after a straight-game loss to world number 32 Zhao Jun Peng.

Srikanth lost 18-21, 17-21 to his Chinese counterpart in a match that lasted only 34 minutes. The 29-year-old was poor in the opening game as it took only 12 minutes for Zhao to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

The Indian, already on the backfoot, tried to advance in the second game and take a 16-14 lead, but several unforced errors helped Zhao secure the win. Young Indian badminton player Sen took 72 minutes to complete the formalities and won the second round 21-17, 21-10.

After trailing 3-4, ninth seed Sen took a six-point lead to take a 13-7 lead. The Indian continued to lead before finishing the first game comfortably. World Championship bronze medalist Sen again dominated the Spanish shuttler and won the second game by a huge margin.

In the second game, the first six points were shared between the two players, but the 21-year-old Indian rode on his better game and went ahead. Enjoying a massive nine-point lead in one leg of the second game, Sen took no time to complete the job.

Earlier, the Indian men’s doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila had reached the pre-quarterfinals but Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy crashed out of the prestigious tournament in the second round. – With PTI input

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