Japan Open 2019: Sai Praneeth ousted after semi-final defeat to Kento Momota

first_img Next Akshay Ramesh New DelhiJuly 27, 2019UPDATED: July 27, 2019 09:52 IST Sai Praneeth lost to Kento Momota in straight games on Saturday (Getty Images)HIGHLIGHTSSai Praneeth lost to Kento Momota 18-21, 12-21 in the semi-finalPraneeth’s fine run in Tokyo ended with a 1-sided defeatMomota will be bidding to defend the Japan Open title in Sunday’s finalWorld No. 23 Sai Praneeth’s impressive run at Japan Open 2019 came to end in the semi-final on Saturday as he was outclassed by top seed Kento Momota. Praneeth was beaten 18-21, 12-21 in just 45 minutes in the one-sided men’s singles last-four match in Tokyo.Sai Praneeth showed signs of return to form as he reached the semi-final without dropping a game. The Indian shuttler had beaten the likes of Kenta Nishimoto, Kanta Tsuneyama and Tommy Sugiarto in the Super 750 tournament but the test against World No. 1 Momota was always going to be difficult.Defending champion Momota started the match well with a 11-6 lead in the first mid-game interval of the match but Sai pulled things back with 5 straight points. Momota though never let Sai slip away as he kept the pressure on his Indian opponent with a fine display of defensive skills.Sai Praneeth took a 3-point lead at 9-6 in the second game but Momota went into the mid-game break with a 2-point lead even as errors crept into the Indian shuttler’s game. Momota had 8 match points in the end and he converted his first to reach the final.Notably, Kento Momota, arguably the best men’s singles player in the badminton circuit at the moment, has reached his 2nd successive final. Momota had beaten the likes of Lin Dan and Viktor Axelsen before winning the Japan Open title last year.Barring the run to Swiss Open final in March, Sai Praneeth had been struggling for consistency in the ongoing season. However, the former Singapore Open champion would have gained confidence from his run at the Super 750 tournament. Praneeth, in fact, had become the only Indian to reach the semi-final of Japan Open when he defeated Tommy Sugiarto in Friday’s quarter-final.advertisementIndia’s challenge has ended with Sai Praneeth’s exit in Tokyo. Earlier on Friday, PV Sindhu suffered her second straight loss to local hope Akane Yamaguchi. Sindhu, who had lost to Yamaguchi in the final of last week’s Indonesia Open, was beaten in straight games by the Japanese star.On the other hand, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty went down in straight games to 2nd seed and local favourites Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda in the men’s singles quarter-final.Having had some impressive runs in Jakarta and Tokyo, India shuttlers will next be in action at next week’s Thailand Open Super 500 tournament in Bangkok.Also Read | Japan Open 2019: PV Sindhu’s campaign ends with quarter-final loss to Akane YamaguchiAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Sai PraneethFollow Kento MomotaFollow Japan Open 2019Follow PV Sindhu Japan Open 2019: Sai Praneeth ousted after semi-final defeat to Kento MomotaIndia shuttler Sai Praneeth was outclassed in a one-sided men’s singles semi-final by World No. 1 Kento Momota on Saturday. Momota reached his 2nd successive Japan Open final after the dominant win in Tokyo.advertisementlast_img

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