New Delhi: India's campaign in the men's singles event of the India Open Super Series badminton tournament ended on Saturday after Anand Pawar lost his semifinal match against Kenichi Tago of Japan in straight games here.
The unseeded Indian went down 16-21 11-21 against his world number nine Japanese opponent in the match that lasted 43 minutes.
Though it was a hard-fought contest in the opening game with long rallies and a number of net plays, the Indian lost the plot in the second game.
After being tied 6-6, the sixth seeded Japanese surged ahead and maintained the lead. The Indian also showed his firepower and kept getting closer to his rival by claiming a couple of points.
From 13-12, Tago clinched five straight points to open up 18-13 lead. But Pawar was not the one to give it up so easily. He won four straight points to reduce the gap to 16-18.
Tago broke Pawar for a point and then earned the next two easily to take the opening game 21-16.
There was little to pick between the two players in the first game but Pawar had to pay for a number of unforced errors.
Second game was a neck-and-neck battle till 4-all before Tago bagged five points on the trot to take a 9-4 lead.
Pawar though managed to win a couple of long rallies and kept earning points in between but his opponent proved to be too good for him.
Tago throughout maintained a cushion of five to six points to comfortably win the second game 21-11 and wrap up the match.