India’s campaign at the New Zealand Grand Prix Gold held in Auckland came to an end after the last two remaining players, HS Prannoy and Sourabh Verma, lost their respective quarter-final matches on Friday.
It was a tough loss for fourth seed Prannoy, who was beaten by the 11th seed Yu Hsien Lin of Chinese Taipei 21-10, 20-22, 23-21. Prannoy started off well in all three games before allowing Lin to overpower him midway. This lapse proved to be especially decisive for Lin to take advantage of in the third game.
Prannoy had two match points at 20-18 and then again at 21-20, but Lin came back from behind on both occasions to clinch the win and reach the semi-finals.
Earlier, the seventh-seeded Verma was beaten in his quarter-final clash against Hong Kong’s Cheuk Yiu Lee on Friday. The eleventh-seeded Lee beat Verma in straight games 21-19, 21-16.
The opening game was closely contested by both players despite Lee quickly building a 14-7 lead over Verma. However, the Indian got back in the game and even tied the scores at 16-all, before Lee took once again took command over the game to take the lead in the match. Despite Verma’s best efforts in the second game, he continued to trail Lee in the second game, who pocketed the win courtesy of the five match points he had.