Malaysia Open 2023: Prannoy loses to Kodai Naraoka in quarter-finals
Indian shuttler HS Prannoy made a quarter-final exit in the men's singles match of the Malaysia Open Super 1000 on Friday. The 30-year-old lost to world number seven Kodai Naraoka of Japan 16-21 21-19 10-2 in an 84-minute thriller, thereby concluding his run in the tournament. Prannoy still searches his maiden BWF World Tour title, having finished the runner-up in the 2022 Swiss Open.
Here's the head-to-head record
Naraoka clinched his third win over Prannoy in as many meetings. Interestingly, he beat his Indian rival in three games at the Singapore Open and World Tour Finals in 2022.
Prannoy's journey in Malaysia Open 2023
Prannoy was dealt Lakshya Sen, the 2022 Commonwealth Games champion, in the opening round. He beat his compatriot 22-24, 21-12, 21-18. The Delhi-born overcame Indonesia's Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo 21-9, 15-21, 21-16 in R16. Prannoy went down fighting to 21-year-old Naraoka in the quarter-finals.
Prannoy had a consistent run in 2022
Prannoy was one of the most prolific singles players from the Indian badminton contingent in 2022. He reached six quarter-finals and two semi-finals, including the quarter-finals of the 2022 BWF World Championships. He re-entered the top 15 in the BWF World Rankings after a four-year-long wait. Prannoy also bagged a spot in the BWF World Tour Finals for the first time in his career.
India suffered big blows in the tournament
The Indian badminton contingent suffered a major blow on Tuesday, with shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth exiting in the first round. Srikanth lost 19-21, 14-21 to Kenta Nishimoto, while Nehwal succumbed to a 12-21, 21-17, 12-21 defeat to Han Yue. PV Sindhu has also been knocked out after losing to Olympic gold winner Carolina Marin.