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B Sai Praneeth loses opening match on Olympic debut | Tokyo Olympics News

TOKYO: India’s B Sai Praneeth suffered a demoralising straight-game defeat against lower-ranked Misha Zilberman from Israel in Group D men’s singles, making a disappointing start to his maiden Olympic campaign here on Saturday.
Praneeth, a 2019 World Championship bronze medallist and now ranked 15th, was too erratic as he lost 17-21 15-21 to world number 47 Zilberman in a 41-minute match.
The 13th seeded Indian will next face world number 29 Mark Caljouw of the Netherlands.
In the opening game, Praneeth raced to a 8-4 lead early on but soon Zilberman reeled off five straight points to turn the table as the Indian committed a series of unforced errors.
The Indian entered the break with a one-point advantage after Zilberman made an error.
Praneeth lacked in his execution, which allowed Zilberman to lead 15-13. The Israeli shuttler dominated the proceedings next to zoom to a 19-14 as the Indian miscued a few shots.
A cross court smash helped Zilberman to grab six game points and he sealed it on fourth attempt.
A fired-up Zilberman continued to look good with Praneeth sending the first two shuttles long. The Israeli soon led 8-5.
Zilberman continued to dictate terms in the rallies as Praneeth lagged 7-11 at the interval.
Praneeth couldn’t match the pace of his opponent, who seemed to be playing at a different level.
Zilberman eventually grabbed 8 match points after Praneeth went long again and sealed the opening match with a smash.

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