BWF World Tour Finals: HS Prannoy Loses To China’s Lu Guang Zu

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Indian badminton player HS Prannoy lost to Lu Guang Zu of China in his second Group A men’s singles match of the BWF World Tour Finals 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand on Thursday.

HS Prannoy lost to Japan’s Kodai Naraoka on Wednesday. The back-to-back defeats mean that the third-seeded Indian badminton player will not progress to the semi-finals even if he gets the better of Tokyo 2020 champion Viktor Axelsen in the final group match on Friday. Only two players from each of the two groups will progress to the last four.

HS Prannoy, 12th in the badminton world rankings, once again started the match with heavy strapping on his right knee. He won the second game against the world No. 17 Lu Guang Zu and led in the third but could not carry on the momentum to eventually lose 21-23, 21-17, 19-21 in one hour and 24 minutes.

HS Prannoy and Lu Guang Zu engaged in longer rallies in the first game with the latter leading 11-9 at the break. HS Prannoy mounted a comeback to lead 19-16 but could not sustain pressure on his opponent and conceded seven of the last nine points.

The Indian shuttler once again trailed 11-10 at the second break but found his footing to smash winners near the lines and take the match into the decider.

HS Prannoy scripted a turnaround in the decider by edging ahead to 19-18 after trailing 10-14. However, unforced errors in the crucial stages by the Indian badminton player meant Lu Guang Zu scored the final three points in the match to stay alive in the tournament.

This was HS Prannoy’s second loss against the 26-year-old Chinese shuttler. HS Prannoy, 30, was beaten by Lu Guang Zu in the round of 16 of the French Open in October.

HS Prannoy will play world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen in his final group match on Friday.

PV Sindhu, who pulled out of the BWF World Tour Finals due to an ankle injury, won the women’s singles title in 2018 and is India’s only shuttler to win a medal at the event.

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