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Badminton

Ashwini-Tanisha reaches final, Priyanshu loses in semis at Syed Modi India International

Priyanshu lost the semifinal against Chi Yu Jen of Chinese Taipei despite winning the opening game. He could not stay in the fight against Yu Jen, who capitalised on Priyanshu's unforced errors.

Priyanshu Rajawat Badminton
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Priyanshu Rajawat in action at the Syed Modi India International. (Photo credit: BAI)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 3 Dec 2023 4:52 AM GMT

Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto reached their first final on the BWF World Tour at the Syed Modi India International in Lucknow since they paired up last year. Ashwini and Tanisha advanced to the summit clash after their opponents Japan's Sayaka Hirota and Yuki Fukushima retired in the first game at 10-11.

Hirota suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury while hitting a half smash from the backcourt. As she writhed in pain, the Japanese duo decided to pull out of the match.

The Indian women's doubles pair will face off against another Japanese duo of Rin Iwanaga and Kie Nakanishi in the final on Sunday.

In the men's doubles semifinal, Priyanshu Rajawat lost a sapping 74-minute semifinal clash despite winning the opening game against world no. 48 Chi Yu Jen.

Priyanshu lost the match 21-18, 14-21, 17-21.

Priyanshu, ranked 31st in the world, took an opening game lead, which went neck to neck, 21-18, showing his ability to stay in the game.

Beginning the game, Priyanshu started on the back foot as he was trailing 7-8, with Chi Yu Jen taking a slender lead with his dominating winners from the net.

But Priyanshu fought back to draw level at 10-10. However, he conceded the lead, with Yu Jen taking an 11-10 lead.

After the interval, the shuttler from Madhya Pradesh showed his remarkable composure and variety of skills as he stayed on top of a tightly fought game.

At 16-15, he hit a crosscourt smash to make it 17-15. As Yu Jen went for tosses, Priyanshu made it harder for the Chinese Taipei shuttler by hitting half-crosscourt smashes.

At 20-18, Priyanshu played a backhand return that Yu Jen sent into the net. The Indian player eventually won the first game on the first opportunity itself and took the lead at 21-18.

In the second game, Priyanshu took a 4-2 lead, but Yu Jen showed his unwavering fighting spirit drawing level at 4-4, winning points with his sharp backhand returns.

At this stage, Priyanshu's attempt to engage in crisscrossing backfired. Yu Jen's apt control over the net saw Priyanshu struggling to reach the shuttle. Yu Jen would soon grab a 7-4 lead and then an 11-7 lead at the interval.

Yu Jen did not look thereafter as he forced the decider, winning the second game 21-14.

In the third game, both players were at level 3-3, with Priyanshu drawing level with a drop shot. But his poor anticipation cost him dearly as Yu Jen regained a 4-3 lead.

Priyanshu would then secure two quick points with a flat smash and a sharp flick from the net to trail 6-7. But Yu Jen managed to gain an 11-9 lead at the mid-game break.

After the interval, Yu Jen cruised to a 16-12 lead as he capitalised on Priyansu's unforced errors. At the fag end of the deciding game, Priyanshu saved three match points by forcing Yu Jen to play into the net. Priyanshu's late comeback would eventually end when he sent the shuttle wide.

Yu Jen sunk to his knees after tasting the victory as Priyanshu wore a dejected look. The Chinese Taipei player will face Kenta Nishimoto of Japan in the men's singles final on Sunday.

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