S. Praneeth cruises into Thailand Open final

TITLE-CONTENDERS Saina Nehwal and B Sai Praneeth advanced to prequarter-finals of the Thailand Open after notching up straight-game wins in the women's and men's singles competition respectively, here on Wednesday.

In the third game, the Indian however, tightened up her game.

Praneeth defeated Thongnuam 21-11, 21-15 in just 36 minutes. He will next face either Indonesia's Panji Ahmad Maulana or ninth seeded Malaysian Iskandar Zulkarnain.

Second seed Saina outclassed Ying Ying Lee of Malaysia 21-11 21-14 in a 40-minute match to set up a clash with Japanese qualifier Haruko Suzuki.

It was a mixed day for Indian shuttlers in Bangkok. On the other hand, Singapore Open champion Praneeth had an easy outing, thrashing lower-ranked Thailand's Kantaphon Wangcharoen in straight games 21-16, 21-17 in less than an hour to sail into the semi-finals.

However, Thongnuam fought back in the second game to take an early 6-3 lead. 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.

A little while later, second seed Saina also looked in good nick against Thai fourth seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan.

Saina starts the tie as favourite, given her vast experience of playing in the knockout stages of big tournaments. Saina wrote on her twitter handle after the win.

  • Angelo Rivera