Syed Modi Internationals: Saina Nehwal, Sameer Verma enter last four
Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal beat compatriot Rituparna Das while defending champion Sameer Verma overcame Zhou Zeqi of China to advance into the semi-finals of the Syed Modi International World Tour Super 300 tournament in Lucknow on Friday.
Verma, who won the Swiss and Hyderabad Open to add to his Syed Modi International title, beat China’s Zeqi 21-18, 16-21, 21-11 in a marathon set to advance. He will next meet Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo of Indonesia in the final four.
Seeded-second Saina beat former national champion Rituparna 21-19, 21-14, to set up a semi-final clash with Indonesia’s Ruselli Hartawan.
Meanwhile, the mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwik Rankireddy reached semi-finals to keep India’s hopes alive for a doubles medal title.
In the men’s doubles, the pair of Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty defeated surpassed the Chinese duo Ou Xuanyi and Ren Xiangyu 15-21, 21-19, 21-17 in a marathon match to eventually set up a last-four clash against London Olympics silver medallists Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark.
Satwik then teamed up with Ashwini in the mixed doubles pair to overcome Indonesia’s Ronald and Annisa Saufika 20-22, 21-17, 21-11 in the quarterfinals. They will next face Chinese opponents Ou Xuanyi and Feng Xueying.
Ashwini also partnered N Sikki Reddy in the women’s doubles quarters against Tania Oktaviani Kusumah and Vania Arianti Sukoco of Indonesia. They defeated the pair 19-21, 21-8 21-18 and will meet Russia’s Ekaterina Bolotova and Alina Davletova in the semis.
But not all the Indian shuttlers tasted victories at the tournament. Two-time champion Parupalli Kashyap and B Sai Praneeth bowed out of the competition after suffering defeats in the quarterfinals.
While lost in straight sets against the eighth-seeded Sitthikom Thammasin, Praneeth fought hard before eventually falling to a 10-21, 21-19, 14-21 defeat against the sixth-seeded Lu Guangzu of China. Kashyap lost 16-21, 19-21 to his Thai opponent.