Saina bows out, Praneeth advances to final in Thailand

India's Saina Nehwal lost in the women's singles semifinal, while B Sai Praneeth reached the final of men's singles at the Thailand Open on Saturday. Christie beat Malaysia's Joo Ven Soong 21-9 21-18 in his semis match.

Praneeth yesterday clinched an easy 21-16, 21-17 triumph over Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand in a quarter-final clash that lasted 50 minutes. The third-seeded Indian maintained his lead throughout the match and never gave his World No. 102-ranked opponent a chance to get back in the match.

Thongnuam came out fighting in the second game and though Praneeth eked out a narrow 6-4 lead, the home favourite levelled things up at 6-6.


Saina made her task hard by committing a large number of unforced errors in the second game of her match.

Saina and Praneeth are the only two Indians left in the tournament. Even though Suzuki showed some grit towards the end of the game, winning four points in a row, it was never going to be enough as Saina rounded up the first game 21-15. However, Haruko managed to make a comeback in the second game but Praneeth made sure that he does not let the game slip from his hands. She lost to Thai Busanan Ongbamrungphan in straight games.

Saina Nehwal too books a berth in the semis after she won a tough battle against Japanese shuttler Haruko Suzuki. It was neck and neck for a while after that as both players won points consistently.


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