Saina bows out, Praneeth advances to final in Thailand

The third seeded Praneeth will now face the fourth seeded 19-year-old Indonesian Jonatan Christie in Thailand Grand Prix final on Sunday.

India’s Praneeth comfortably beat Pannawit Thongnuam of Thailand in their men’s singles semifinal. (file image)   -  PTI

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 USD 120000 Thailand Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament here today.

The third seeded Praneeth comfortably beat Pannawit Thongnuam of Thailand 21-11, 21-15 in their men’s singles semifinal that lasted 36 minutes.

London Olympic bronze medallist Saina, however, had to bite the dust as she lost in straight games to Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan 19-21, 18-21 in 53 minutes.

The world number 11 Saina, who made the women’s singles semifinal, was seeded second in the tournament, while her opponent entered the tournament as the fourth seed.

Singapore Open champion Praneeth, ranked 24 in the world, will take on fourth seeded 19-year-old Indonesian Jonatan Christie, who defeated Joo Ven Soong of Malaysia 21-9, 21-18 in his 34-minute semifinal clash.

In today’s match, Praneeth started strongly and went into the first break with a four-point lead, paving the way for an easy win in the first game.

The Thai tried to stage a fightback in the second game but Praneeth was equal to the task, quickly reducing a three-point deficit.

Thongnuam made Praneeth work hard for his points, but the Indian had the last laugh.

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