Sai Praneeth enters Thailand Grand Prix Gold final

Sai Praneeth enters Thailand Grand Prix Gold final

Secon seed Saina Nehwal and fifth seed B Sai Praneeth advanced to the semifinals of the $1,20,000 Thailand Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament with convincing victories here Friday.

Singapore Open champion Praneeth, who is ranked 24, will take on Indonesia's Jonatan Christie, who made it into the final with 21-9, 21-18 win over Joo Ven Soong.

Praneeth yesterday clinched an easy 21-16, 21-17 triumph over Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand in a quarter-final clash that lasted 50 minutes. Sai Praneeth led from the start and it was only a matter of minutes before he closed the game in his favour. Thongnuam tried hard to take the fight to Praneeth in the second game, but the final outcome hardly looked in doubt. However, Saina came back strongly to win the next two points, before levelling the game at 5-5. Even though Suzuki showed some grit towards the end of the game, winning four points in a row, it was never going to be enough as Saina rounded up the first game 21-15. From there on, he did not let his Thai opponent make a recovery and won the game comfortably. However, the London Olympic bronze medallist has not had a good season, barring her Malaysia Masters win earlier this year. With no player ready to give an inch, it was Saina who brought up match point at 20-19 but it was Suzuki who won three consecutive points to level the match at a game apiece.

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