Prannoy in second round of All England Championship

India’s HS Prannoy stormed into the second round of the All England Championships badminton tournament with a hard-fought straight game win over Chinese Taipei’s Xu Wei Wang here on Tuesday. World No. 9 Indian Prannoy got the better of Wang 21-19 22-20 in 49 minutes in their first round encounter. With the win, Prannoy’s win-loss record against Wang became 5-3. The 30-year-old Prannoy from Kerala will next take on the winner of the match between third seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia and Kantaphon Vengcharon of Thailand. Pranay looked in good shape.

He started well and took five straight points to lead 11-4 at the break in the first game. The Indian, however, then hit a few shots outside and on the net to make it 11-14 for Wang. Prannoy made it 18-12 with four consecutive points but Wang took advantage of the Indian’s weakness to make it 16-19. Prannoy then hit two consecutive outside shots to level the scores at 19-19. Prannoy grabbed game point with a cross court smash and then followed it up with another smash to win the first game.

The second game saw a close contest right from the start. Wang leads 7-2. Prannoy, however, came back strongly to take a narrow 11-10 lead at the break. Both the players were tied at 16-16 after this. Prannoy made it 19-17 with two good returns but then gave Wang a chance to make a comeback and level the scores at 19-19. Wang shot outside to give Prannoy a match point but he could not capitalize on it. Prannoy, however, kept his composure and won the match with Wang hitting the net.

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