Malaysia Masters: Prannoy advances to final.Sindhu bows | Photo Sports News

KUALA LUMPUR: Star shuttler HS Prannoy of India competed in the men’s singles final of the Malaysia Masters on Saturday after his opponent Kristian Adinata of Indonesia conceded a point in the semi-final due to a serious knee injury.

World No. 9 Prannoy was leading 19-17 when Adinata lost her footing while landing after a jump return, causing her left knee to buckle and the Indonesian shuttler wincing in pain.

Adinata, 21, the 2019 world junior champion, was immediately escorted off the court by Prannoy and her Indonesian coach, and was eventually wheeled off the court in a wheelchair.

This is Prannoy’s first final of the season and his second after finishing runner-up at last year’s Swiss Open.

However, two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu failed to advance to the women’s singles final, losing to Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung 14-21, 17-21.

Sindhu suffered her second consecutive loss to Tanjung. File photo: AFP

It was Sindhu’s second straight loss after seven wins against the tricky world No. 9 Indonesian.

It was a one-way street for Prannoy who got off to a strong start and quickly took an 11-1 lead. But after the break, Aditya steadily racked up points, winning seven of the next nine points.

A jump cross-court smash restored Prannoy’s confidence, but an unforced error and a nifty shot from Adinata helped the Indonesian make it 10-14.

Adinata returned quickly and landed several cross-court winners and body smashes. An on-the-line return from the back line made it 14-15, but Prannoy again went wide and leveled the score at 16-16.

Prannoy won a short back-and-forth to take a 19-17 lead before the match ended abruptly due to Adinata’s injury.

Sindhu’s struggle

Sindhu, a two-time winner here, was unable to play an aggressive game, although Tanjung controlled the rally with solid defense and was able to win points with tricky strokes.

The Indians took an early 3-0 lead, but that lead quickly evaporated as Tanjung made some exquisite shots to turn the tide.

The Indonesian tried to drag Sindhu from corner to corner to take a 6-4 lead. But she hit big and Sindhu also hit a nice reverse slice to make it 6-6.

Tanjung tried to mix up her strokes to keep Sindhu guessing, but the Indian defended well and held her fort, making it 9-7. A straight smash and body return sent him into the break at 11-8.

However, the situation changed completely after changing sides. A flat forehand punch clearance put Tanjung on par, followed by a series of aggressive returns to quickly take a 15-12 lead.

Tunjun’s straight smash was followed by Sindhu’s winner, but the Indonesian kept the momentum going with some aggressive winners. Tanjung took six game points and also scored the deciding goal as Sindhu found the net.

The second game started evenly, but at 5-5 Tanjung suffered a forehand injury. However, it had no effect on the Indonesian and he took control of the situation going into the break at 11-9.

Coach Vidhi Chaudhary continued to motivate Sindhu but did not have much of an impact on the Indian as Tanjung continued to make life difficult for her.

The Indonesian looked a little tired and made a few mistakes, but he didn’t miss the match.

She quickly grabbed six match points after Sindhu made another mistake. The Indian made three saves with two crosscourt returns. However, after another frenzied rally from Sindhu, she missed the net shot and clinched victory in the semi-finals.

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