US Open Badminton: Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy advance to semi-finals
Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap beat fifth seed Sameer Verma in an all-Indian clash to advance to the semi-finals along with the second seed HS Prannoy and the third seeded men’s doubles team of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy at the $120,000 Yonex US Open Grand Prix Gold in Anaheim, California on Friday.
Kashyap put up a commanding performance against Verma to secure a 21-13, 21-16 win in 40 minutes. With this triumph, the former World No. 6 now leads their head-to-head record 2-0 after having recorded a straight games victory over his junior compatriot in their first meeting at the India Grand Prix in 2010.
Sameer, who won the Syed Modi International in January, had to sit out for three months since April due to a shoulder injury. He had intended to make his return at last week’s Canada Open Grand Prix but was not granted a visa on time.
For Kashyap, who is also on the comeback trail from a shoulder injury, this is his best performance since he resumed competitive play at the China Masters in April.
The World No. 59 next faces the 111th ranked Kwang Hee Heo of Korea for a place in Sunday’s summit clash.
Prannoy wins a tough quarter-final
In the other half of the draw, second seed Prannoy made amends for his early loss at last week’s Canada Open by booking a berth in the semi-finals. The World No. 23 needed an hour to stave off the challenge of the eighth seed Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan, 10-21, 21-15, 21-18.
Last week, Prannoy had shockingly slumped to a pre-quarter-final loss.
Next up for him is the 15th seed Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam.
Attri-Reddy in last-four
The third seeded men’s doubles team of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy are the only Indian doubles team to have made it to the semis of this tournament. Attri and Reddy put on a determined display to beat the seventh seeds Hiroki Okamura and Masayuki Onodera 21-18, 22-20 in 43 minutes.
They have a tough task up next as they face the top seeds Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han of Chinese Taipei in their quest for a final spot.