H.S. Prannoy

Jakarta, June 16 (IANS) Indian shuttler H.S. Prannoy on Friday stormed into the semi-finals of the Indonesia Open Superseries Premier after defeating reigning world and Olympic champion Chen Long of China in what he termed was a “very exhausting” quarter-final battle here.

A day after knocking out multiple world and Olympic medallist Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, the unseeded Prannoy stunned Long 21-18, 16-21, 21-19 in a match lasting an hour and 15 minutes at Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) here.

“The match was very exhausting. I knew that Chen Long felt the same. I also knew that he even more exhausted as I did not make any mistake in the match, capable to make the shuttlecock still in the badminton lawn,” Prannoy said after the match, as reported by Xinhua news agency.

Long’s defeat to the Indian also ended China’s campaign in the men’s singles category of the tournament.

Prannoy played aggressively from the start and never allowed Long to dictate the terms. The Chinese, however, looked rusty as he is coming into the tournament after a break. Long struggled with his movement and conceded the first game 18-21.

He sealed the second game, riding on his deft net-game. But Prannoy then again got back to his very best and snatched the third by forcing Long to retrieve from difficult and wide positions.

Prannoy joined compatriot Kidambi Srikanth in the semi-finals as the latter got the better of Chinese Taipei’s Tzu Wei Wang 21-15, 21-14 in 37 minutes.

In the semi-finals, Prannoy and Srikanth will meet Japanese qualifier Kazumasa Sakai and South Korean second seed Wan Ho Son respectively.

Sakai stunned England’s Rajiv Ouseph 13-21, 21-16, 21-10, while Son bested Chinese Taipei’s sixth seed Chou Tien Chen 21-15, 21-17.

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