Sindhu enters final of Syed Modi International after Russia's Kosetskaya retires midway

Sindhu, the top seed, easily pocketed the first game 21-11 before Kosetskaya conceded the second women's singles semifinal match.

FILE PHOTO: Former world champion Sindhu will face compatriot Malvika Bansod in the summit clash on Sunday.   -  PTI

Malvika Bansod battled from the brink of defeat to set up a face-off with P. V. Sindhu in the final before unseeded players Arnaud Merkle and Lucas Claerbout turned the men’s title clash into an all-France affair in the $150,000 Syed Modi India International badminton tournament here.

Though Saturday witnessed several matches that went the distance, Sindhu was required to spend only 13 minutes on the court against Evgeniya Kosetskaya. After Sindhu won the first game 21-11, the Russian girl gave up the match due to stomach pain.

From the other semifinal, Malvika faced unexpected resistance from Anupama Upadhyay. During the 66-minute match, Malvika was down a game and trailed 16-19 in the second before turning the script on its head.

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The Nagpur girl, the conqueror of Saina Nehwal last week in Delhi, won the last five points of the second game to level the match and went on to post a 19-21, 21-19, 21-7 triumph.

If Anupama ran out of steam and ideas in the decider, Mithun Manjunath encountered a similar situation in his semifinal against Merkle.

Mithun did well to battle back from a game’s deficit to force the

decider. Thereafter, it was Merkle who simply blew Mithun away for a 21-19, 17-21, 21-9 victory. Merkle won the first six and the final six points of the decider to end Mithun’s campaign.

It was clear that Mithun’s inexperience came to the fore during the crucial phase. The youngster’s execution of strokes was increasingly poor as his lack of stamina played havoc with his game.

Merkle will face compatriot Claerbout, who also needed three games to stop Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen 15-21, 21-18, 21-15.

In the men’s and women’s doubles finals, the Indian and the Malaysian pairs will clash. The mixed doubles title will be decided between two home-grown combinations.

The results (semifinals, Indians unless stated):

Men: Arnaud Merkle (Fra) bt Mithun Manjunath 21-19, 17-21, 21-9; Lucas Claerbout (Fra) bt Nhat Nguyen (Ire) 15-21, 21-18, 21-15

(Doubles): Krishna Prasad & Vishnuvardhan Goud bt Prem Singh Chouhan & Rajesh Verma 21-10, 21-9; Man Wei Chong & Tee Kai Wun (Mas) bt M. R. Arjun & Dhruv Kapila 21-16, 21-12.

Women: P. V. Sindhu bt Evgeniya Kosetskaya (Rus) 21-11 (retd); Malvika Bansod bt Anupama Upadhyaya 19-21, 21-19, 21-7

(Doubles): Anna Ching Yik Cheong & Yeoh Mei Xing (Mas) bt Haritha Harinarayan & Ashna Roy 21-18, 21-7; Treesa Jolly & P. Gayathri bt Low Yeen Yuan & Valeree Siow (Mas) 17-21, 21-18, 21-16.

Mixed doubles: Ishan Bhatnagar & Tanisha Crasto bt M. R. Arjun & Treesa Jolly 18-21, 21-18, 21-11; T. Nagendra Babu & Srivedya Gurazada bt Akshan Shetty & Simran Singhi 15-21, 22-20, 21-9.

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