Sindhu reaches India Open final, Pranaav-Sikki exit

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New Delhi, Feb 3 (IANS) India’s women’s singles star P.V. Sindhu advanced to the final, while the mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy exited in the semi-finals of the $350,000 India Open BWF World Tour Super 500 here on Saturday.

Olympic 2016 silver medallist Sindhu got the better of Thai third seed and former world champion Ratchanok Intanon 21-13, 21-15 to remain one win away from successfully defending her title here.

Sindhu rattled the Thai by mixing clever net-play with big strokes as she led 13-4 in the first game before securing the 21-13 win.

In the second game, Ratchanok tried to push Sindhu with some clever placements but Sindhu kept firing smashes to quell the challenge from the Thai. The home favourite prevailed 21-15 in the second game.

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Following the win at the Siri Fort Sports Complex, the three-time World Championship medallist Sindhu improved her head-to-head record against 22-year-old Ratchanok to 3-4.

In the final on Sunday, the Hyderabadi will meet US’ fifth seed Beiwen Zhang, who edged past Hong Kong’s sixth seed Cheung Ngan Yi 14-21, 21-12, 21-19 in an hour and three minutes.

The Indian mixed doubles eighth seeds Pranaav-Sikki fell 16-21, 19-21 in 45 minutes against Danish fifth seeds Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen, who will meet Indonesians Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti in the final.

The Danish pair looked the better combination in the first game but the Indians did well to fight back in the second game. Pranaav lost his serve at 18-all to give the advantage to Mathias-Christinna, who then made the most of the gift to seal the contest in their favour.

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Mathias, especially was brilliant, picking out gaps with ease as Pranaav and Sikki made some tactical errors. Mathias’ pace and power made it easy for Christinna, who was playing closer to the net.

Praveen-Melati combined to beat Chinese sixth seeds He Jiting and Du Yue 21-19, 24-22 in 42 minutes.

In the men’s singles category, Chinese Taipei’s third seed Chou Tien Chen got the better of Chinese Qiao Bin 23-21, 21-16 to set-up a title clash against Chinese Shi Yuqi, who ended Malaysian Iskandar Zulkarnain’s stunning run with an 18-21, 21-10, 21-19 victory in an hour and nine minutes.

In the men’s doubles category, Indonesian top-seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Danish fourth seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen advanced to the final.

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Gideon-Sukamuljo took only 26 minutes to oust compatriots Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan with a 21-11, 21-16 victory. Astrup-Rasmussen pair defeated China’s Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong 21-19, 21-14.

The women’s doubles final will be contested between Thai second seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai and Indonesian third seeds Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu.

Jongkolphan-Rawinda defeated Chinese Du Yue and Li Yinhui 21-19, 21-17 in 56 minutes, while Greysia-Apriyani moved past Danish top seeds Kamilla Rytter Juhl Aand Christinna Pedersen 21-14, 19-21, 21-18 in an hour and 21 minutes.

–IANS

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