While Saina overcame Anura Prabhudesai comfortably, Sindhu had to fight hard against Ruthvika Shivani to set up a women’s singles final face-off. Kidambi Srikanth will face HS Prannoy for the second time in a month as they overcame Lakshya Sen and Subhankar Dey respectively, with convincing wins.
World No. 11 Saina Nehwal hardly had to break a sweat as she went past fifth seed Anura Prabhudesai 21-11 21-10 in the semi-final game. World No. 2 PV Sindhu, however, had to, surprisingly, stretch herself beyond expectation against young Ruthvika Shivani before prevailing 17-21, 21-15, 21-11.
The 82 Badminton National Championship had a high possibility of a clash between Saina and Sindhu when the star shuttlers confirmed their participation in the tournament. The senior championship needed a gentle coercion by the Badminton Association of India to the increase the prize money to see major stars participating again.
Saina hasn't competed at the Senior Nationals since winning back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007, while Sindhu has also evaded the domestic tournament after since winning in the 2011 and 2013 editions. Saina and Sindhu have played each twice before - in the 2014 Syed Modi International and Indian Super Series this year. While Saina prevailed in 2014, Sindhu levelled it in Delhi.
The men’s singles final, on the other hand, has been quite a repetitive affair and the contenders looked at their sharpest as Prannoy overcame Subhankar Dey 21-14 21-17, while top seed Srikanth saw off young rising shuttler Lakshya Sen 21-16, 21-18. Srikanth and Prannoy have faced each other four times in their international career in the past. Srikanth has won on the last three occasions while Prannoy’s last win against him came way back in 2011 Tata Open. Srikanth has clinched four titles this season after reaching five finals and is in the form of his life. Prannoy, who reached the semifinals at Indonesia Super Series Premier and French Open Super Series to achieve a career-high ranking of World No 11, isn’t in a bad form either.
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