Sindhu, Sen reach semis of India Open
New Delhi, Jan 14: Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and world championship bronze medallist Lakshya Sen registered contrasting wins to advance to the women’s and men’s singles semi-finals, respectively, at the Yonex-Sunrise India Open badminton tournament here on Friday.
Top seed Sindhu, a former world champion, got the better of compatriot Ashmita Chaliha 21-7, 21-18 in 36 minutes, while Sen rallied his way to a hard-fought 14-21, 21-9, 21-14 victory over HS Prannoy in another all-Indian quarter-final.
The 26-year-old from Hyderabad set up a women’s singles last-four clash with Thailand’s sixth seed Supanida Katethong, who entered the semi-finals after the third seeded Yeo Jia Min of Singapore pulled out of the tournament due to “high fever”.
Sen, seeded third, will square off against Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong in the semi-finals.
In the other women’s semi-final, Aakarshi Kashyap will face second seeded Thai Busanan Ongbamrungphan after the Indian notched up a 21-12, 21-15 win over compatriot Malvika Bansod on Friday.
Busanan trounced USA’s Lauren Lam 21-12, 21-8 in another last-eight clash.
Second seeded men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also entered the semi-finals with a 21-18, 21-18 win over Singapore’s Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Hean.
Haritha Manazhiyil Harinarayan and Ashna Roy also made it to the last four in women’s doubles after beating Rudrani Jaiswal and Jamaludeen Anees Kowsar 21-16, 21-16 in the quarter-finals.
The last time Sindhu was up against Chaliha, at the 83rd Yonex-Sunrise Senior National Championship in 2019, the youngster from Assam had produced a spirited performance.
On Friday, Chaliha took time to get into the groove and put up a good fight in the second game but couldn’t stop Sindhu from walking away with the match.
In men’s singles, it was the first international meeting but third overall between Sen and Prannoy as the duo engaged in a battle of supremacy.
On a comeback trail, Prannoy, who had reached the quarter-finals at the last world championships, dominated the proceedings initially to secure a 6-2 lead.
He got his acts together in time to turn the tables at 12-10 and then zoomed from 15-14 to pocket the opening game.
Sen, however, roared back into the contest in the second game as he ran up a huge 12-5 lead and didn’t look back from that point, as Prannoy crumbled.
In the decider, Prannoy took the early initiative, opening up a 6-1 advantage but couldn’t sustain it as Sen moved to 11-9 at the interval and then pocketed nine of the next 11 points to seal the match in his favour. (PTI)