Saina, Sindhu set up all-Indian final, Srikanth also enters final

P. V. Sindhu beat Michelle Li of Canada and Saina Nehwal beat Kristy Gilmour of Scotland to progress to the final.

The entire Indian badminton team has had an excellent time at the Games and is in contention to secure the medals on the final day.   -  PTI

Make no mistake, the fabulous trio of Indian badminton is on song and in line to reap rich rewards. In a spectacular turn of events, the women’s singles final of the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be an all-India affair, which is a first in a major international event.

Sunday's final will be special regardless of whether P. V. Sindhu or Saina Nehwal win the gold medal. The duo, on Saturday, justified their seeding as No.1 and No.2 in good measure as Sindhu defeated Canada's Michelle Li 21-18, 21-8.

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The win was particularly sweet for Sindhu as she had lost to Li in the semifinal of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

 

Sindhu was on the back foot initially, but a change in tactics brought about a turnaround. The tactic was based on the weakness of Li at the forecourt and at the net and it worked well for Sindhu, as she set up the Canadian with impeccable drop shots and low placements, before finishing points at her will with powerful smashes.

On the other hand, Saina defeated Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour. It was easy going for Saina before Gilmour staged a come back, but Saina held momentum and wasted no opportunity to triumph 21-14, 18-21, 21-17.

Prannoy falters in semis
The men’s singles final could have also been an all-Indian affair, but national champion H. S. Prannony went down fighting against Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei. Prannoy, however, did create a lasting impression as he made the Malaysian to work for each point before losing 16-21, 21-9, 21-14. Later, Prannoy faltered in his bronze medal match against Rajiv Ouseph as he lost 21-17, 23-25, 9-21.

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Kidambi Srikanth played true to his newly acquired World No. 1 ranking when he dispatched Rajiv Ouseph (England) 21-10, 2-17.

There was also something to cheer for India as Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty clinched the silver medal and helped India to its first ever medal in doubles, though they lost to the Malaysian pair of Chan Peng Soon and Guo Liu Ying 19-21, 19-21 in a well-contested final.

Further, Ashwini Ponappa and Sikki N. Reddy won the bronze in women’s doubles with a well-earned 21-19, 21-19 win over Australia’s Setyana Mapasa and Granya Somerville.