Published: Sun, June 04, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Thailand Open: Saina, Praneeth to play their respective semis

Thailand Open: Saina, Praneeth to play their respective semis

India's star shuttler Saina Nehwal made the best of her day in Bangkok as she registered a 21-15, 20-22, 21-11 win over Japan's Haruko Suzuki in the quarter-final match of the Thailand Grand Prix Gold badminton event.

Second seeded Saina brushed aside Slovakia's Martina Repiska 21-5, 21-10 in the opening round to set up a clash with Malaysia's Ying Ying Lee in the next round. He will next face either Indonesia's Panji Ahmad Maulana or ninth seeded Malaysian Iskandar Zulkarnain. She opened up a 9-5 lead and then onwards controlled the pace of the game to win it and with it the match.

The 12th seeded Sourabh fought hard before going down narrowly 16-21 25-23 11-21 to fifth seeded Brice Leverdez of France while Sai Uttejitha Rao lost 15-21 17-21 to Pattarasuda Chaiwan of Thailand.

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London Olympic bronze medallist and second seed Saina, however, bit the dust, 19-21, 18-21 to Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan in 53 minutes. The players never let the other extend their lead by more than one and at the mid-game interval, it was the Indian who held a slender lead. Though Saina managed to win the first three points after the break, a brilliant drop shot from the 21-year-old Thai saw her claim the first of four straight points.

Saina starts the tie as favourite, given her vast experience of playing in the knockout stages of big tournaments.

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