Thailand Open Roundup | Sai Praneeth through to the final as Saina Nehwal crashes out

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Thailand Open Roundup | Sai Praneeth through to the final as Saina Nehwal crashes out

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SportsCafe Desk


It was a mixed day for India at the Thailand Open with Saina Nehwal crashing out while Sai Praneeth booked a place in the final of the event. While Praneeth registered an easy 21-11 21-15 win over home favorite Pannawit Thongnuam, Saina Nehwal lost out to Busanan Ongbamrumphan 21-19 21-18.

Saina Nehwal was made to do the all the running in the initial stages of her semi final against Busanan Ongbamrumphan as the latter raced to a 3-0 lead. However, Sania came back strong to win the next two points, before leveling the game at 5-all. From then on, both players started committing unforced errors, but at the mid-game interval Busanan had managed a narrow 11-9 lead. Needing to up her game after the interval, Saina came out fighting winning the four straight points to take a 13-11 lead. But just as the Indian looked set to run away with the game, the Thai came back strong to win the next three points, as she dictated the pace of the rallies. Even though Saina managed to level the game at 17 points a piece and then again at 19-19, it was the Thai youngster who kept her nerve to close the game out at 21-19.

The second game was a much closer contest as the duo shared the first 8 points equally, before Saina managed to get her nose ahead with the scoreboard reading 7-5. By then, Saina had found her rhythm and her range as she started calling the shots. Using her experience, the former Olympic-bronze medalist moved the 21-year-old Busanan all over the court as she went into the break with a 11-8 advantage. Though Saina managed to win the first three points after the break, a brilliant drop shot from the young Thai saw her claim the first of four straight points. Tied at 14 all both players refused to give each other an inch, However, just as she had done in the first game, Busanan managed to up her game just when it mattered, with another drop shot that gave her two match points and on the first time of asking, the Thai sealed an impressive win.

Earlier in the day, India’s Sai Praneeth took on Thai star Pannawit Thongnuam in the men's semi-final of the Thailand Open. After splitting the first 4 points of the first game equally, Praneeth carved out a three-point lead to go in front 6-3. From then on the Indian was in the driving seat as he went into the break with an 11-7 lead. After the break, Praneeth kept the pressure on his opponent taking the first three points to go in front 14-7. From then on, it was Praneeth’s game to lose and though the Thai managed to win a few points, Praneeth managed to seal the first game, 21-11.

As expected, Thongnuam came out fighting in the second game and though Praneeth eked out a narrow 6-4 lead, the home favourite levelled things up at 6 all. The Thai then picked up the next three points to take lead, but at the break, there was nothing to chose between the duo with Sai Praneeth managing a slender 11-10 lead.

Finally, though Thongnuam managed to stay touch for the first few points after the break, Praneeth sealed an easy win with the scoreboard reading 21-11 21-15. Praneeth will now take on 4th seed Jonathan Christie for the title.

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