Indias campaign in the Japan Open badminton tournament ended on Friday after Ajay Jayaram,K Srikanth and HS Prannoy lost their respective mens singles quarterfinal matches at the $200,000 Super Series event here. While Prannoy fought hard before going down 21-11,20-22,21-13 to Huan Gao of China,Srikanth and Jayaram lost in straight games to crash out of the tournament.
Prannoy,who was in good form in the Indian badminton League last month,gave a good account of himself as he came back from a game down against a higher ranked opponent to clinch the second and take the match into the decider. The contest,which was the first meeting between the two,lasted an hour and 13 minutes. After being tied at 8-8,the Chinese bagged nine points on the trot to open a 17-8 lead and then easily claimed the opening game.
Jayaram,World No.30,lost to fifth seeded Vietnamese Tien Minh Nguyen 18-21,13-21 in 40 minutes. Despite being better at net play,the Indian was done in by the smashes hit by his opponent.
Jayaram started off on a positive note,posing a threat to the Vietnamese in the first game to be tied at 16-16,before Nguyen surged ahead to win it with the help of some down-the-line smashes.
Nguyen hardly gave any chance to the Indian in the second game as he ran away with the match comfortably. In another match,Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold winner Srikanth,ranked 39th,went down tamely to Japanese seventh seed Kenichi Tago 21-18,21-9 in just 39 minutes.
Despite lagging behind 13-18 at one stage in the opening game,Srikanth managed to reduce the gap to 17-18 before losing it 18-21. In the second game,however,the Indian proved to be no match to his Japanese opponent.