Saina, Prannoy reach semis at Swiss Open

Saina Nehwal lost the first set but clinched victory in three games over Japan's Sayaka Sato, while H. S. Prannoy took almost an hour to get across Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, seeded 16th, eventually winning 21-18 22-24 21-9.

Saina Nehwal defeated Sayaka Sato in 52 minutes.   -  Reuters (File Photo)

Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and H. S. Prannoy registered fighting victories in the last eight contests of women’s and men’s singles events, respectively, to reach the semifinals of the $120,000 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament.

Two-time champion Saina took another step towards the Swiss Open crown after ekeing out a 13-21, 21-15, 21-14 win over Japan’s Sayaka Sato, seeded seventh, in a 52-minute contest to take her overall head-to-head record to 5-1.

Next opponent Yihan

The Olympic bronze medallist will next take on her fierce rival Wang Yihan, seeded 3rd. Saina has a 4-9 record against the former World No. 1, but the top seeded Indian will take confidence from her three wins against the Chinese in 2015.

In men’s singles, 13th seed Prannoy took almost an hour to get across Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, seeded 16th, eventually winning 21-18 22-24 21-9. The World No. 27 Indian will next face Tzu Wei Wang of Chinese Taipei. Prannoy had lost to Tzu Wei in 2014 Austrian International Challenge.