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Syed Modi International: PV Sindhu enters semis; HS Prannoy bows out

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Lucknow, Jan 21 (IANS) Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu advanced to the women’s singles semi-finals of the 2022 Syed Modi International after beating Thailand’s Supanida at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium, here on Friday.

Sindhu, the top seed at the tournament, came from behind to clinch the contest 11-21, 21-12, 21-17 in the quarter-finals, which lasted for 65 minutes. Katethong, seeded sixth, had defeated Sindhu at the India Open semi-finals last week.

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The Indian began the match on the backfoot and trailed 11-6 at the first break. Katethong proceeded to extend her lead to win the first game in 15 minutes.

The world No 7 Sindhu then raced to a 6-3 lead in the second. However, Katethong cut down the Indian’s lead and levelled the score at 10-10. Sindhu scored seven consecutive points from there on to snatch the momentum and took the game to a decider.

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In the third game, Sindhu took a 10-8 lead but Katethong clawed her way back to level the scores at 17-17. Just when it seemed the match was headed to a photo finish, Sindhu upped the ante and scored four straight points to win the contest.

The 26-year old Sindhu, who is chasing her first title since the world championships in 2019, will face the fifth-seeded Evgeniya Kosetskya of the National Badminton Federation of Russia in the semi-finals.

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In another contest of the day, Malvika Bansod beat fellow Indian shuttler Aakarshi Kashyap 21-11, 21-11 to make the semis. Bansod, who had lost to Kashyap at the India Open quarter-finals last week, will go up against Anupama Upadhyaya in the final four.

In men’s singles, HS Prannoy suffered a defeat to Arnaud Merkle of France in straight games. The former world No 8 Indian went down 19-21, 16-21 in 59 minutes.

In the absence of other top Indian players, Mithun Manjunath remains the sole Indian alive in the men’s singles draw.

Manjunath, who had to withdraw from the India Open because of a positive Covid test, overcame a stiff challenge from the National Badminton Federation of Russia’s Sergey Sirant to win the contest 11-21, 21-12, 21-18. He will face Arnaud Merkle in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the mixed doubles semi-finals on Saturday will see all-Indian affairs. MR Arjun-Treesa Jolly will face seventh seeds Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto while Akshan Shetty-Simran Singhi will face T Hema Nagendra Babu and Srivedya Gurazada.

Among other Indians to progress to the semi-finals were the women’s doubles teams of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, and Haritha Manazhiyil Harinarayanan-Ashna Roy.

–IANS

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