New Zealand Open 2018: Sai Praneeth cruises into semi-finals, Sameer Verma, Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy crash out 

E-Plus Badminton Asia Team Championships 2018
Sai Pranee

Sai Praneeth was only Indian shuttler to progress into the semi-finals of New Zealand Open 2018 tournament played at Auckland on Friday.

The third-seeded of this tournament, Praneeth took 28 minutes to see off the 129th ranked player Niluka Karunaratne 21-7,21-9. He will face Jonatan Christie in the semi-finals tomorrow.

Sameer Verma fought valiantly in the quarterfinals against two-time Olympic Champion Lin Dan.

Despite having a big lead during the first game, the young Indian could not maintain his speed losing the first set 19-21.

Dan completely dominated Verma in the second game winning it 21-9 easily to progress into the semi-finals.

In the men’s doubles section, Indian pair of Manu Attri and Reddy were completely outplayed by the Thailand pair of B Issara and Phuangphuapet in two straight sets 10-21,15-21 to be knocked out of quarterfinals.

Good effort by Sameer Verma

The young Indian Verma struggled against Dan in the initial stages trailing by 4-10. Then Sameer made a strong comeback to take seven successive points, led 11-10 at the interval.

It was the Indian who was leading 18-14, then Lin Dan then showed why he is one of the greatest badminton players taking 7 points to win the first set 21-19

Dan dominated Verma in the second game right from start and won the game 21-9 to progress into the semi-finals.

Indian men's double pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy were knocked out of the tournament in two straight games by Thailand B Issara and Phuganphuapet.

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