Thailand Open: Praneeth advances to the finals, Saina loses out in semis

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World No.24 Sai Praneeth headed on to the finals of the Thailand Open while second-seeded Saina Nehwal crashed out in the semis. Praneeth defeated Thailand’s Pannawit Thongnuam 21-11, 21-15 in the semis to book a berth in the final round. On the other hand, Saina lost to Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand in a close match 21-19, 21-18.

Praneeth made his way into the semis after defeating 102nd ranked Kantaphon Wangcharoen in the quarters 21-16, 21-17. Saina had beaten Japan’s Haruko Suzuki 21-15, 20-22, 21-11 to make it to the semis.

Saina enjoyed 3-0 head to head score against Busanan when they previously met in 2015 and 2016 but failed to keep up with the record this time. It will be an all Thai final in the women’s singles this year with Busanan going against world no.8 Ratchanok Intanon who defeated Beiwen Zhang of Singapore in the semis.

Praneeth put on a strong performance against Thongnuam taking the first set without giving away any opportunity to the Thai to lead. The later responded well in the second round by taking a lead and being able to maintain it till the break. The score was 14-15 with Praneeth trailing when he put his gears on and took seven straight points to seal the match.

He will be up against Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie in the finals. Jonatan dominated his Malay opponent Joo Ven Soong 21-8, 21-18 in the semis which could be a matter of concern for Praneeth. A well competed final can be expected as the world no. 24 takes on the world no.27.

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