Saina, Sindhu, Srikanth book semifinal berths
Top shuttlers and K Srikanth continued their rampaging run with contrasting victories to reach the semifinals of the USD 120,000 Syed Modi International India Grand Prix Gold
Lucknow: London Olympics bronze medallist, Saina was on course for her first title of the season when she registered a 21-15 21-15 victory over fifth seed Bellaetrix Manuputty of Indonesia in the women's singles quarterfinals today. She will next take on sixth seed Xuan Deng of China tomorrow.
World championship bronze medallist, Sindhu too was on course for her first final appearance of the season as she took just 34 minutes to pack off Indonesia's seventh seed Hera Desi 21-11, 21-13. She will now take on fourth seed Lindaweni Fanetri who had little trouble in packing off Arundhati Pantawane 21-10, 21-7 in another women's singles quarterfinal match.
With all the top four seeds knocked out of the men's draw, Srikanth was the highest seed in action today and the rising shuttler survived a scare from 11th seed B Sai Praneeth before prevailing 21-18, 20-22, 21-12 in a hour and 12 minutes match.
The Thailand Grand Prix champion will now take on seventh seed H S Prannoy for a place in the final at the Babu Banarasi Das UP Badminton Academy here. Prannoy, the 2010 Youth Olympics silver medallist, packed off giant killer Zulfadli Zulkiffli of Malaysia 21-19, 21-14.
Zulfadli had upset top seed and defending champion P Kashyap yesterday but the Malaysian had no answer to the smashes of Prannoy. The other semifinal will see Aditya Prakash take on 9th seed Xeu Song of China. Aditya got the better of Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin 21-19, 18-21, 21-16, while Song needed 50 minutes to end the run of Shubhankar Dey 21-18, 21-15.
Among other Indians in fray in the doubles competition, only men's pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar could reach the semifinals after the second seeded combination defeated sixth seeds Andrei Adistia and Indonesia Hendra Aprida Gunawan of Indonesia 21-16 21-12 in a 32-minute match. However, third seeded pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy B could not go any further and lost to eighth seeded Chinese combination of Kaixiang Huang and Si Wei Zheng 17-21 13-21 in another men's doubles match.
Tarun Kona and Jishnu Sanyal also crashed out after losing 14-21 14-21 to Thailand's Songphon Anugritayawon and Pakkawat Vilailak in another quarterfinal match. In women's doubles, Commonwealth Games gold medallist pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa lost 14-21 11-21 to Thailand's combination of Phataimas Muenwong and Kilasu Ostermeyer in 30 minutes, while second seeded Malaysian pair of Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon defeated Sanskriti Chhabra and Ekta Kalia 21-11 21-6 in another match. In a mixed doubles quarterfinal match, Chinese pair of Yilv Wang and Huang Yaqiong ended the run of Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan 21-14 21-12.