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Kashyap loses to Momota in semifinals

 INCHEON, Sept 28: Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap’s impressive run at the Korea Open Super 500 tournament came to an end after he lost to World No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan in the men’s singles semifinals here on Saturday.

A former World No. 6, Kashyap, who was the lone Indian left in fray, went down 13-21, 15-21 to the two-time reigning world champion Momota in 40 minutes.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, who was promoted from the qualifying round, had last played Momota four years ago at the Indonesia Open. Kashyap had a 0-2 record against the Japanese prior to Saturday’s encounter.

The 33-year-old from Hyderabad, who had reached the finals at Canada Open this year, showed the intent to hang in the rallies as the duo played a lot of tosses and lifts.

However, Kashyap had no answers to Momota’s precision as the Japanese opened up a 9-5 lead early on. A deceptive return and a body smash gave the Indian a couple of points before the Japanese entered the break with a four-point advantage after a long rally.

Kashyap didn’t take enough initiative and often hit wide and long to end the energy-sapping rallies. It acted in Momota’s favour as he continued to accumulate points, reaching 18-10.

The Japanese committed an uncharacteristic unforced error and soon Kashyap added two more points but unforced errors, including a wide shot, gave Momota a comfortable 20-13 lead and he sealed it when Kashyap went wide again.

In the second game, the rallies became faster as Momota produced angled returns to put Kashyap out of position and then unleashed his precise strokes. – PTI

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