Kuala Lumpur: Star Indian shuttler HS Prannoy’s rampaging run at the Malaysia Masters Super 500 tournament hit a roadblock as he slipped to a narrow three-game loss against Hong Kong’s NG Ka Long Angus in a mistake-filled men’s singles semifinal here on Saturday.
It was heartbreak once again in the semifinals for the Indian as he squandered a one-game advantage to go down 21-17 9-21 17-21 against NG Ka Long after battling for an hour and four minutes at the Axiata Arena here.
Heading into the match with a 4-4 career record, Prannoy, who had defeated Ng Ka Long in the last three meetings, picked the good side after winning the toss.
It seemed to come back to haunt him as he looked in firm control in the first game but struggled with his length and drowned in a pool of unforced errors after changing ends.
After a nervy start in the opening game, Prannoy marched ahead to a 5-3 lead with two exquisite cross court jump smashes.
The Indian didn’t try to play at a breathtaking pace but rather focussed on constructing the rallies and punishing the weak returns with a pitch-perfect placement.
He had a four-point cushion at the break.
Ng Ka Long tried to use his smashes to gather points but he was guilty of missing some easy chances as Prannoy maintained his four-point lead till 17-13.
Prannoy then gave two points away with a couple of miscued shots before prevailing in a parallel exchange and soon grabbed four game-point opportunities.
He missed the first one before closing out the opening game with another perfect placement at the baseline.
However, after the change of sides, Prannoy struggled to control the shuttle in drifty conditions while Ng Ka Long showed better execution to keep a firm grip on the rallies.
The result was a six-point advantage at the mid-game interval.