Ace Indian shuttler B. Sai Praneeth suffered a major blow as he knocked out of the ongoing Japan Open after slumping to straight-games defeat in the semi-final of the tournament on Saturday.
The 26-year-old failed to replicate his good form in the $750,000 tournament so far and went down against Kento Momota of Japan 18-21, 12-21 in a one-sided last-four clash of the men's singles event that lasted 45 minutes.
Praneeth, who had registered a comfortable 21-12, 21-15 win over Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia in the quarter-final clash, kicked off his match against Momata on a positive note by taking an initial lead of 3-1. The Japanese shuttler then bounced back to take an 11-8 lead against Praneeth at the mid-game break.
Though the unseeded Indian gave a good fight and bagged a few points, Momata eventually sealed the game 18-21 in 23 minutes.
World number one Momata then continued his momentum in the second game as well as he didn't allow his Indian opposition to take a massive lead. He sealed a comfortable seven-point lead over Praneeth before ultimately sealing the game by a margin of 12-21 in 22 minutes.
With Praneeth's defeat, India's campaign at the Japan Open has also ended.
Earlier, Rio Olympic silver-medallist PV Sindhu and the Indian men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty were crashed out of the tournament after losing their respective semi-final clashes in straight games.