Thailand Open: Saina, Praneeth to play their respective semis

Sai Praneeth Sourabh Verma advance to third round of Thailand Open P Kashyap crashes out

India's B Sai Praneeth sailed into the final with a straight-game win but Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal's campaign ended in the semifinal of the $1,20,000 Thailand Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament here today.

Earlier in the day, B Sai Praneeth had also booked a place in the semis by beating Thailand's Kantaphon Wangcharoen 21-16, 21-17. In women's singles, national champion Rituparna Das lost 19-21, 18-21 to top seed Ratchanok Intanon, while Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli was disposed off 14-21, 12-21 by Ruselli Hartawan of Indonesia and Yen Mei Ho of Malaysia staved off a challenge from Saili Rane 19-21, 21-13, 21-12.

Praneeth defeated Thongnuam 21-11, 21-15 in just 36 minutes. However, the Thai fourth seed refused to let the Indian claw her way back into the match as she capitalized on the London Games bronze medalist's mistakes to clinch the match in straight games. After winning the first game easily, she was leading 11-6 in the second.

After the break, Praneeth kept the pressure on his opponent taking the first three points to go in front 14-7 and even though the Thai managed to win a few points Praneeth managed to seal the first game 21-11.

Saina starts the tie as favourite, given her vast experience of playing in the knockout stages of big tournaments.

Saina Nehwal too books a berth in the semis after she won a tough battle against Japanese shuttler Haruko Suzuki.

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