Basel (Switzerland), Aug 24: Even as India's B. Sai Praneeth strode out on to the court for his men's singles semifinal battle at the 2019 BWF World Championships with Japan's Kento Momota, the Indian contingent among the crowd gave out a deafening cheer.
Although not too large in number, the Indians among the crowd kept on cheering throughout the contest. However, it was not to be their day.
In the end, it turned out to be a totally one-sided battle.
The Japanese star was in sublime form and Praneeth was no match for him, going down in straight games.
The top-seeded Momota needed just 42 minutes to claim an easy 21-13, 21-8 victory over his 16th seeded opponent.
Sai Praneeth's dream run at the 2019 BWF World Championships thus came to an end and he now has to be content with the bronze medal.
Praneeth had started in promising fashion and gave his opponent a tough fight in the early stages of the opening game.
The two opponents were locked at 10-10 in the first game when the Japanese star claimed five back to back points to take the upper hand.
Praneeth never recovered from there.
Momota started to assert himself after that and Praneeth started making a succession of unforced errors. Praneeth could only take two more points after resumption as Momota took the first game and the lead.
The second game was a totally one-sided affair.
The top seed took the lead right from the start witth seven consecutive points and never looked back from there.
Praneeth was completely out of his depth in the second game with Momota relentlessly ticking away the points.
The Indian started making a number of errors and by the time the interval came, Praneeth's body language showed that he had resigned to his fate. Momota led 11-3 at the interval.
Praneeth took just five more points after the resumption as the Japanese took a well-deserved win.
News24 Bureau with IANS inputs
Photo: Google Image