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Syed Modi International 2018: Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma enter semi-finals

FEATURED COLUMNIST
News
Published Nov 24, 2018
Nov 24, 2018 IST

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal

Former champions Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma made it to the semi-finals of the $150,000 Syed Modi International Badminton Championships 2018 even as Parupalli Kashyap crashed out of this Super 300 tournament in Lucknow, India on Friday.

Nehwal, the winner in 2009, 2014 and 2015, overcame a slow start to get the better of eighth seed Rituparna Das 21-19, 21-14. The second seed will next take on Indonesia’s rising star Ruselli Hartawan for a place in the summit clash.

Das led 11-5 at the time of the mid-game interval in the first game following which the former World No. 1 came storming back to first level the score and then race ahead to 16-13. Even though Das kept fighting till the end of the opening game, Nehwal’s experience was too much for her and the 28-year-old managed to sneak out the game.

The two remained evenly poised till 9-9 in the second game. Saina then cruised to a 14-11 advantage and steadily kept earning points to close out the win in 36 minutes.

Men’s singles third seed and defending champion Sameer Verma needed to work hard to notch up a 21-18, 16-21, 21-11 win over the 64th ranked Zhou Zeqi of China. Verma next meets Indonesia’s Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo in his quest for a final berth.

The 24-year-old needs to successfully defend his title to be able to qualify for the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals to be held next month.

Two-time winner Kashyap lost 16-21, 19-21 to the eighth seed Sitthikom Thammasin of Thailand. Four seed and last year’s runner-up B Sai Praneeth also bowed out after a 10-21, 21-19, 14-21 loss to the sixth seed Lu Guangzu of China.

In women’s singles, Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka fought valiantly before succumbing to a 9-21, 21-19, 12-21 defeat at the hands of the seventh seed and 2012 Olympic champion Li Xuerui.

Triple delight in doubles

India had three wins in doubles as well on Friday. Men’s doubles eighth seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty came back from a game down to register a 15-21, 21-19, 21-17 win over the Chinese pair of Ou Xuanyi and Ren Xiangyu.

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Rankireddy tasted double delight in an equally tough win in mixed doubles, where he and Ashwini Ponnappa secured a comeback 20-22, 21-17, 21-11 win over Indonesians Ronald Ronald and Annisa Saufika.

Ponnappa also won her women’s doubles match alongside N Sikki Reddy. The two beat Tania Oktaviani Kusumah and Vania Arianti Sukoco 19-21, 21-8, 21-18 in 59 minutes to advance to the semi-finals.


Modified Dec 20, 2019
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