In the men’s singles of BWF World Championships, Sai Praneeth – nation’s best performer reached the quarterfinals of the competition and bowed out after a straight game loss to Kento Momota. Praneeth played against South Korean star Son Wan Ho, Spaniard Luis Enrique Penalver and Denmark’s HK Vittinghus to enter the last eight of the tournament.
However, when he met Momota in the quarterfinals, Praneeth lost back-to-back games 21-12, 21-12. It was an action-packed affair in which the 25-YO Indian produced arguably the best shot of the tournament. He played an incredible no-look shot that left his opponent completely stunned.
In the second game of the match, after a long rally, Momota forced the Indian into a difficult retrieval with a delicious cross-court drop. Praneeth somehow reached the shuttle and put it over the net. However, Momota was waiting to pounce and responded with a lightning-fast smash, and looked to have sealed the point in his favor. But the Indian shuttler wasn’t ready to lose the rally.
Praneeth, in an incredible display of flexibility and reflexes, twisted his body and got his racket to the shuttle. The Japanese shuttler could not have anticipated such a response and was unable to send it back and eventually lost the point.
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India had three other shuttlers in the men’s singles draw in the form of Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, and Sameer Verma. Verma went down fighting to Chinese icon Lin Dan while Prannoy lost to unheralded Brazilian player Ygor Coelho. Srikanth too could not move past the Round of 16, losing to Daren Liew in straight games.