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Priyanshu Rajawat suffers straight-game defeat

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Priyanshu Rajawat, on Wednesday, made a first-round exit from the Japan Masters 2023 in Kumamoto.

Rajawat, ranked 30th in the world, suffered a straight-game (21-15, 21-12) defeat to world no. 21 Lin Chun-Yi of Chinese Taipei. Lin took a mere 32 minutes to knock out Priyanshu.

Playing each other for the first time, Lin took a 5-3 lead over Rajawat in the opening game. Priyanshu, however, drew level at 5-5. The Chinese Taipei player cruised to an 11-8 lead at the interval.

Lin, a left-handed player, was rewarded for his swift movement and deft placement of the shuttle, often forcing Priyanshu to make errors at the net.

Priyanshu would soon find himself trailing 12-19 as his angled backhand returns went wide multiple times and ruffled the net.

The Indian shuttler won three points to reduce Lin’s lead. But it was never enough for him to counter Lin, who won the opening game 21-15.

In the second game, too, Priyanshu trailed 3-5, and Lin soon took an 11-6 lead. But Priyanshu showed better control of the net and won points with dribbles and net cord.

However, Lin extended his lead to 15-9 with two back-to-back flat smashes. Priyanshu could win three more points in the game as Lin prevailed 21-12 to advance to the pre-quarterfinals.

Later today, Lakshya Sen and HS Prannoy will be in action.

On Tuesday, the men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were knocked out in the first round.



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