Shuttlers Saina Nehwal, Sai Praneeth reach Thailand Open semis

Saina Nehwal 26Bangkok: Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and B. Sai Praneeth stormed into the semi-finals of the $1,20,000 Thailand Open Grand Prix badminton tournament with contrasting wins in the women's and men's singles quarter-finals, respectively, here on Friday.

London Olympics bronze medallist Saina was made to toil hard by Japan's Haruko Suzuki before the Indian used all her experience to bounce back in the third game and clinch it 21-15, 20-22, 21-11.

On the other hand, Singapore Open champion Praneeth had an easy outing, thrashing lower-ranked Thailand's Kantaphon Wangcharoen in straight games 21-16, 21-17 in less than an hour to sail into the semi-finals.

The third-seeded Indian maintained his lead throughout the match and never gave his World No.102-ranked opponent a chance to get back in the match.

In the semi-finals, World No.24 Praneeth will meet the winner between Thai duo of World No.11 Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk and World No.71 Pannawit Thongnuam.

In the women's singles, Saina dominated the opening game handsomely before the World No.132 Haruko bounced back quite well to take the second game 22-20 and level the game by 1-1.

The match was stretched to the decider but this time Saina gave the Japanese no chance and maintained her lead throughout to take clinch the tie 21-11.

The World No.11 Saina will now take on Thailand's fourth seeded World No.13 Busanan Ongbumrungpan on Saturday for a place in the final.

India's campaign in all the doubles categories have already ended.