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Group A results today: HS Prannoy loses in three games against Lu Guang Zu, Viktor Axelsen defeats Kodai Naraoka in straight games.
That will be all for this live blog.
Group A: Here’s how Group A stands:
Group A: Viktor Axelsen breezes past one of the form players on the tour, making it look easy as he takes just 32 minutes to defeat Kodai Naraoka. This result means HS Prannoy is out of reckoning for semifinals on his debut, as one of Kodai Naraoka or Lu Guang Zu will now finish with two wins for sure, with Axelsen already having won two.
Group A: The slim chance we spoke of for Prannoy... is getting slimmer by the second.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 19-21 Lu Guang Zu: So, slim chances for Prannoy to go through will be if Kodai Naraoka defeats both Viktor Axelsen today and Lu Guang Zu tomorrow to finish with three wins in the group. And then, Prannoy defeats Axelsen (might have to do it in straight games) to stand a chance. Seems improbable at the moment. But Prannoy vs Axelsen could still a good battle on Friday to look forward to.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 19-21 Lu Guang Zu: IT’S OVER! Another epic between these two men, Prannoy throws the racket down in frustration after a forehand down the line (that had worked well for him for the most part) goes long. Lu lets out a roar. Prannoy all but out of the tournament (barring a mathematical possibility that I will try and update soon on).
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 19-20 Lu Guang Zu: Terrific exchange, wow. HSP pushes the shuttle just long! Match point.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 19-19 Lu Guang Zu: Prannoy with a good leave at the back court... Lu gets it right next rally and we are level... AGAIN. And it is in by millimeter as HSP loses a challenge.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 18-18 Lu Guang Zu: Roar from Lu, more a release of energy, as HSP sends a shuttle wide. Roar from HSP as Lu sends a lift long! Wow.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 17-17 Lu Guang Zu: Ah what a battle! Lu cannot believe it, he nearly smashes his racket there and then pulls out of it as he hit the net. Prannoy with a fist pump.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 16-16 Lu Guang Zu: And we are all level... 15-15, 16-16 Another epic between these two.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 13-15 Lu Guang Zu: Applause worthy rally, especially for Prannoy... he is staying within touching distance.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 11-14 Lu Guang Zu: Again Lu pulls ahead, but Prannoy with a good high-pressure point to get a footing back.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 10-12 Lu Guang Zu: And Prannoy closes in... twice now Lu has missed the sidelines crosscourt.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 9-12 Lu Guang Zu: A possible turning point here... really good defence from Prannoy to get the serve back after a long rally.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 8-11 Lu Guang Zu: And then Lu goes on a mini-run once again to take the lead into the interval. Prannoy had better luck from the far side and he will need to start well as we change ends.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 8-9 Lu Guang Zu: Run of points ends at 6 for Lu and Prannoy closes the gap down to one.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 6-7 Lu Guang Zu: A run of for points for Lu. The last point at 6-6 especially will frustrate Prannoy, he should have won that point.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 6-3 Lu Guang Zu: A brilliant 30-shot rally and it ends with the shuttle taking its time to decide which side of the net to fall on! HSP with a backhand winner and an apologetic hand to Lu. Exchanges a smile with coach Siyadath again.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17, 3-3 Lu Guang Zu: 88 mins for their last match, and 60 mins into this one we are 1-game all and 3-3.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 21-17 Lu Guang Zu: Finally, in their fifth game between each other, the margin is more than two... Prannoy with a quick fist pump as he closes out another net change to level this match.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 20-17 Lu Guang Zu: Four game points Prannoy, Lu saves one.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 19-16 Lu Guang Zu: That is a stunning net shot by Lu, the shuttle dangling over the net chord and falling other side. Prannoy misses the smash next... and this could get close again.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 19-14 Lu Guang Zu: The forehand smash down the line has come in handy for Prannoy here.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 18-14 Lu Guang Zu: This is some really high quality badminton at the moment. Prannoy plays a relentless attacking point to take a 5-point lead, Lu takes the next one with his up-tempo game to close the gap down.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 17-13 Lu Guang Zu: Prannoy with a precise smash to close out another solid rally, Lu loses a review. He is getting rushed now, the Chinese shuttler and it is a handy late lead for HSP.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 15-13 Lu Guang Zu: Prannoy clearly looking to attack more and more here, trying to take charge of the rallies. Great point, super tempo, finished off with a crosscourt winner by the Indian.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 14-12 Lu Guang Zu: Prannoy with a good little run of points... now or never territory.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 10-11 Lu Guang Zu: Prannoy with a fine point to level things up again and the next point is to decide the lead at the interval... and it goes Lu’s way.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 9-9 Lu Guang Zu: Broken string and all, Prannoy wins a rally with a good smash. Another nice rally follows, and this time Lu challenges... and he is right!
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 7-7 Lu Guang Zu: By the smallest of margins, Prannoy gets his review right (would have been out of challenges otherwise) and soon after, we are level again.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 4-7 Lu Guang Zu: Lu on the charge at the moment... HSP looking a little bit deflated during rallies, always reacting. A quick smile exchanged there with coach Siyadat and next point he plays a lovely crosscourt slice.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 3-6 Lu Guang Zu: HSP with a hit/miss phase. One rally he finds the exact spot he was looking for with a smash... next rally, he goes long. Prannoy loses a review as Lu roars after landing the shuttle flush on the line.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23, 2-4 Lu Guang Zu: HS Prannoy and Lu Guang Zu have now played four games of badminton lasting a total of 115 minutes... 88 mins last time for their three-game battle, 27 mins for the opening game today! Gruelling stuff. Lu with an early lead in game 2.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-23 Lu Guang Zu: Prannoy thinks he has won the rally... but the lift from Lu has landed in, the review doesn’t help the Indian. A fabulous opening game goes to Lu and that is a blow for Prannoy, even if he goes on to win this game.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-22 Lu Guang Zu: Prannoy frustrated as the drift takes the shuttle agonisingly wide. Third game point for Lu.
Group A, HS Prannoy 21-21 Lu Guang Zu: Prannoy goes really close with his net shot... game point again for Lu. And the Indian comes up with a stunning reflex backhand.
Group A, HS Prannoy 20-20 Lu Guang Zu: Patience pays for Prannoy, well played point as Lu sends a push long. Game point saved.
Group A, HS Prannoy 19-20 Lu Guang Zu: Prannoy will regret that, roar from Lu as the shuttle hits the net. Game point.
Group A, HS Prannoy 19-19 Lu Guang Zu: Prannoy gets a taste of his own medicine, Lu with a brilliant crosscourt touch at the net. Another fantastic rally follows, and this one – 24 shots – goes to Lu on a HSP error.
Group A, HS Prannoy 19-17 Lu Guang Zu: Prannoy with a rare loose shot at the net and it sets up a big smash for Lu.
Group A, HS Prannoy 18-16 Lu Guang Zu: Prannoy keeping his nose ahead. A terrific net shot, with the help of the chord, sets up a booming smash and a big roar from the Indian.
Group A, HS Prannoy 15-14 Lu Guang Zu: What a fabulous next exchange once again! Brilliant chance of the racket-head by Prannoy.
Group A, HS Prannoy 14-14 Lu Guang Zu: We are back level in this one... good phase for HSP.
Group A, HS Prannoy 12-13 Lu Guang Zu: That was a much-needed respite for Prannoy with Lu dictating the last few rallies, as the former sends a smash wide. HSP lets out a roar next point... closes the gap to two again. Next rally, another fabulous exchange at net, Prannoy with a good backhand kill.
Group A, HS Prannoy 9-11 Lu Guang Zu: This is a real game of chess at the moment, says the commentator and it is hard to disagree. Both players trading blows... but it Lu who has a small lead at the interval.
Group A, HS Prannoy 7-9 Lu Guang Zu: The rallies are being played at a lovely tempo here. Both men looking to attack every chance. Another lovely rally, ends with a brilliant slice drop winner.
Group A, HS Prannoy 4-6 Lu Guang Zu: The rallies are fairly even still but Prannoy guilty of a few errors in this phase. Lu pulling ahead. Reminder, Prannoy not just has to win but try and win in straight games. And another fabulous rally gives the Indian the serve back...
Group A, HS Prannoy 3-3 Lu Guang Zu: And as I was saying about a physical gruelling battle, the opening rally of this match is a stunning exchange (as far as opening rallies go) and it goes to Lu on a review. Both men started well here.
Group A, HS Prannoy vs Lu Guang Zu: What a battle it was the last time (and the only time) these two met.
A gruelling battle at French Open:
Men’s singles group B: Before we turn our attention to Group A, a quite stunning turnaround for Jonatan Christie who was on the brink of getting knocked out facing two match points. But takes the 2nd and breezes through the decider. Christie (and Chou Tien Chen) stay alive.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of badminton from the BWF World Tour Finals. HS Prannoy is the only Indian in action at the season-ending tournament after PV Sindhu withdrew through injury.
In his opening match on debut at this event on Wednesday, Prannoy went down fighting in three games against Kodai Naraoka. Today, he faces a must-win contest against China’s Lu Guang Zu (who is also in the same boat after having been blown away by the favourite Viktor Axelsen).
Screenshots in the blog courtesy BWF / Viacom 18 / Tournament Software