Sunday, January 29, 2023

Malaysia Open: HS Prannoy storms into quarterfinals, Jolly-Gayatri exit

Continuing his winning start of the season, H.S. Prannoy sailed into the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Open Super 1000 badminton tournament while Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand was knocked out by Bulgarian duo of Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva in the women’s doubles pre-quarterfinals here on Thursday.
Playing on Court 1 of the Axiata Arena, World No 8 Prannoy registered a 21-9, 15-21, 21-16 victory over 19th-ranked Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo in over one hour of play and levelled up the head-to-head record with the Indonesian.
Prannoy had a clear dominance in the first game as he wrapped it up with a 21-9 scoreline. Wardoyo, however, staged a comeback in the second game as the Indian player could not cope with his stunning shots and the match went into the decider. In the deciding game, both the players were engaged in a close fight initially before Prannoy opened up a five-point lead before the change of ends and quickly went on to seal the victory.
Earlier in the day, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand’s run come to an end with a 13-21, 21-15, 17-21 loss to Bulgaria’s Gabriela and Stefani in the women’s doubles round-of-16 match.
Bulgarians came out all guns blazing in the opening game as they held an early 6-0 lead and continued to mount pressure on their opponent.
Treesa-Gayatri staged a mini fightback to turn the game in their favour with consecutive points and reduced the deficit to 8-11, but the Stoeva sisters continued with their rhythm and kept piling up the points to take the first set.
After a 1-0 deficit in the match, the Indian pair clinched the closely-fought second game to take the match into the decider. In the final game, the Indians held a slight lead but couldn’t manage to hold on to it as the Bulgarian pair wrapped up the win.

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