Tokyo, Japan: The Japan Open badminton tournament witnessed gripping action as HS Prannoy, ranked 10th in the men’s singles badminton rankings, displayed remarkable tenacity against top-seeded Viktor Axelsen. However, it was Axelsen’s resilience that ultimately secured him the victory in a thrilling quarterfinal encounter.
The match started with an intense battle between the two players, with Prannoy putting up a fierce fight against the reigning Olympic champion. The first game saw both shuttlers exchanging powerful shots and displaying exceptional skills. However, Axelsen managed to edge past Prannoy with a narrow 21-19 victory.
Undeterred by the initial setback, HS Prannoy regrouped and showed immense determination in the second game. He gained an early lead, racing to a 5-0 advantage against the formidable Dane. Axelsen, known for his mental fortitude, fought back and gradually turned the tide in his favour. The second game became a thrilling seesaw battle, with both players vying for crucial points. Despite Prannoy’s spirited efforts, Axelsen’s dominance in the crucial moments allowed him to seal the game 21-18.
The decider saw both shuttlers giving their all in a display of dominant play and tactical acumen. Viktor Axelsen’s experience and composure under pressure proved to be the deciding factor as he secured the match in 76 minutes, ending HS Prannoy’s commendable campaign at the Japan Open.
In the men’s doubles category, India’s challenge also faced a tough test as the world No. 2 duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty battled against the reigning Olympic champions, Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin of Chinese Taipei. The match lived up to its high stakes as both teams fought tooth and nail for a place in the semi-finals.
Rankireddy and Shetty exhibited impressive teamwork and exceptional skills throughout the closely contested match. However, the Chinese Taipei pair displayed their champion’s mettle and managed to narrowly edge past the Indian duo. The match concluded with a 21-15, 23-25, 21-16 victory in favour of Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin, thus ending India’s run in the men’s doubles event at the Japan Open.