Thailand Open: Saina, Sai Praneeth advance to semis

The third seeded Praneeth comfortably defeated local player Kantaphon Wangcharoen 21-16, 21-17 in the men’s singles quarterfinals.

Sai Praneeth is two wins away from winning the Thailand Open title.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal and B. Sai Praneeth advanced to the semifinals of the USD 120,000 Thailand Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament with convincing victories here today.

The second seeded Saina, ranked 11 in the world, defeated Japan’s Haruko Suzuki 21-15, 20-22, 21-11 to make the last-four stage following the women’s singles clash that lasted one hour and nine minutes.

“Tough win today #thailandGPG #quaterfinals ..... won in three sets 21—15 ,22—20, 21—11 ....” Saina wrote on her twitter handle after the win.

The 27-year-old London Olympics medallist, who had breezed past unseeded Ying Ying Lee of Malaysia in straight games 21-11, 21-14 in the quarterfinals, will face Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the semifinal.

Earlier in the day, Indian shuttler B. Sai Praneeth sailed into the semifinals of the of the USD 120,000 Thailand Grand Prix Gold after registering a straight-game win over local player Kantaphon Wangcharoen here today.

The third seeded Praneeth comfortably defeated the Thai 21-16, 21-17 in the men’s singles section at the Nimibutr Stadium.

The World No. 24 took 50 minutes to complete the task against his opponent, ranked 102 in the world. In their only meeting before today’s match, the 24-year-old Praneeth had beaten Wangcharoen 18-21, 21-14, 21-15 at the Indonesian Masters last year.

The Singapore Open champion had beaten Iskandar Zulkarnain of Malaysia in straight games in the quarterfinals yesterday.

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