Shuttlers Dewalkar-Chopra waste chances, lose final

Lucknow, Jan 31 (IANS) Indian men’s doubles pair of Pranaav Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar had to endure a heartbreak as they wasted two match-point chances to lose the final of the $120,000 Syed Modi International Badminton Championships to experienced Malaysian combine of Goh V. Shem and Wee Kiong Tan here on Sunday.

The reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallists took exactly an hour and one minute to win the Grand Prix Gold tournament 14-21, 24-22, 21-8 at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium. The win extended the Malaysian pair’s head-to-head record to 3-0.

Dewalkar and Chopra got off to a fantastic start in the first game to easily romp home and take the lead in the contest.

Shem and Tan fought back strongly to go match-point (20-19) up in the second game. The Indian pair first saved that point to level the game at 20-all and twice went ahead to have two match-points in hand. However, they wasted both opportunities to let the game go.

The momentum completely swung as the visiting pair had no problem in winning the deciding game and clinching the title.

Next up, local top seed and World No.9 Kidambi Srikanth will take on China’s World No.73 Huang Yuxiang in the men’s singles final. The 22-year-old Guntur-born had reached the final here the last two years but failed to clinch the trophy.

If Srikanth wins, this will be his first title in 2016 and first crown since the India Open in March 2015.

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