While PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal won their respective second round encounters at the Malaysia Masters Super 500 badminton tournament being held at Kuala Lumpur earlier today, the Indian male stars had a contrasting day as both HS Prannoy and Sameer Verma lost their games to crash out of the Super 500 tournament.
Prannoy went down fighting to World Number 1 player and top-seed Kento Momota of Japan 21-10, 21-15 in just 34 minutes, while Verma was defeated by local boy Lee Zii Jia in straight games 21-19, 22-20 in a hard-fought battle.
Ranked number 33 in the world, Verma had a handsome lead in the first game but lost consecutive points and ultimately crashed out of the second round after putting up a tough fight in a clash that lasted over 50 minutes.
It marked the end of the road for the Indian men shuttlers in the ongoing tournament, after Parupalli Kashyap, Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth had lost their respective Round 1 matches to crash out earlier in the event. Kashyap had fallen to Momota in his first round contest that lasted for 33 minutes and suffered a 17-21, 16-21 defeat.
Srikanth lost his encounter to World Number 2 Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan 17-21, 5-21 in a match that went on for just 30 minutes. It was the Indian's fifth successive loss against Chen. Praneeth too had failed to impress as he was defeated by Denmark's Rasmus Gemke 11-21, 15-21 in a match that went on for 46 minutes.
The men's doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty too failed to qualify for the second round after losing to the Malaysian pair of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi 21-15, 18-21, 21-15.
In an encounter that went on for 52 minutes, the Malaysian pair won the first game, and though the Indians came back strongly in the second game, they were unable to hold on and lost the match in the third and final game.
Only PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal are left in the fray in the single's event in the Malaysia Masters.