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Thailand Open: Saina Nehwal, Sai Praneeth in quarterfinals


Thailand Open: Saina Nehwal, Sai Praneeth in quarterfinals
Saina Nehwal

Bangkok: Saina Nehwal and B. Sai Praneeth made short work of their opponents in women’s and men’s singles respectively to reach the quarterfinals of the $120,000 Thailand Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament, on Thursday.

Second seed Saina dished out a dominating show to dump Ying Ying Lee of Malaysia 21-11, 21-14 in a 40-minute match to set up a clash with Japanese qualifier Haruko Suzuki.

Singapore Open champion, Praneeth also didn’t break much sweat in getting across ninth seed Malaysian Iskandar Zulkarnain 21-13, 21-18.

The third seeded Indian will now face Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen on Friday.

However, it was curtains for promising Sourabh Verma and Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka in men’s and women’s singles competitions respectively.

While 12th seeded Sourabh fought hard before going down narrowly 16-21, 25-23, 11-21 to fifth seeded Brice Leverdez of France, Sai Uttejitha Rao went down in straight games 15-21, 17-21 to Pattarasuda Chaiwan of Thailand.
Praneeth, who had beaten Zulkarnain during their only meeting, opened up a 5-1 lead early on and then marched ahead despite some tough fight from the Malaysian. Eventually, he sealed the first game comfortable.

In the second game, Zulkarnain had taken a 9-7 lead but Praneeth erased the deficit and marched ahead to close the door on the Malaysian in the 41-minute clash.

In mixed doubles, Prajakta Sawant and her Malaysian partner Yogendran Khrishnan lost 10-21, 9-21 to top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand.

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