Sai Praneeth exited from the BWF World Championships 2022 on Monday in Tokyo in the first round itself. The Indian emerged on the wrong side against Chou Tien Chen in a three-game contest.
Tien Chen emerged victorious in the first game 21-15 before Sai Praneeth, who was the bronze medalist of the 2019 edition, came back strongly to take the second game.
In the decider, however, fourth seed Tien Chen used the Indian’s unforced errors to his advantage to take a 10-4 lead.
Praneeth did try to make a comeback, but his effort was cancelled out by a nibble-footed Tien Chen, who took the game 21-15 to win the match and advanced to the second round. Praneeth, a 2019 bronze medalist, put up a brave effort before going down 15-21, 21-15, 15-21 to world number four Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei in little over an hour.
It was yet another forgettable outing in Tokyo for Praneeth, following his struggles at last year’s Olympic Games where he participated without a proper coach or physio to eventually bow out early. Notably, this was Sai Praneeth’s fifth straight defeat to the Chinese Taipei shuttler.
Earlier, women’s doubles paring of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy advanced to the second round with a straight-game (21-7, 21-9) win. The world no. 25 Indian pair routed Maldives’ A.N. Abdul Razzaq and F. Abdul Razzaq in just a very short timespan of 21 minutes.
In mixed doubles, Tanisha Crasto and Ishaan Bhatnagar defeated German combo of Patrick Scheiel and Franziska Volkmann 21-13, 21-13 in 29 minutes to make it to the second round of the Championships.
Ashwini and Sikki will face a tough task of facing against top seeds Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan of China in the second round. The Indian pair will meet Supak Jomkoh and Supissara Paewsampran of Thailand next.
Last edition’s silver and bronze medalists Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen, and former world no. eight HS Prannoy will be among the Indian shuttlers competing later in the day.