Incheon: Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyapâs impressive run at the Korea Open Super 500 tournament came to an end after he lost to world number 1 Kento Momota of Japan in the menâs 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. Kshyap, 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 Saturdayâs 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 Momotaâs precision as the Japanese opened up a 9-5 lead early on. But Kashyap didnât take enough initiative and often hit wide and long to end the energy-sapping rallies. It acted in Momotaâs favour as he continued to accumulate points, reaching 18-10.
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.
The left-handed Momota soon worked up a lead of 7-2. Momota then made it 19-13 and grabbed six match points with a cross court smash. Kashyap saved one before the Japanese unleashed another accurate return to seal his place in the summit clash.