Women’s no.1 seed Saina Nehwal of India entered the semifinal of the India Open on Friday with a two-game 39 minute win over Hana Ramadhini of Indonesia, while her compatriot men’s no.2 seed Kidambi Srikanth also reached the semifinal after a tough match with Japan’s Takuma Ueda. Women’s no.2 seed Carolina Marin of Spain also advanced to the semifinal after beating Japan’s no.6 seed Nozomi Okuhara in a hard-fought quarterfinal that went to three games and took an hour and 14 minutes. Saina has never won the India Open in so many years but 2015 presents the best chance for her. For the final spot, Saina will have to defeat Japan’s Yui Hashimoto, who overcame a tough 3-game challenge in dealing with Hong Kong’s no.7 seeded player Yip Pui Yin. On the other hand, Marin will take on Thailand’s no.3 seed Ratchanok Intanon to ensure that she reaches the final. India’s HS Prannoy caused a major upset on Day 3, when he edged out no.1 seed Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark at the 2015 Yonex-Sunrise India Open at New Delhi. But Prannoy’s moment of glory had a short 24-hour life, when the Indian lost to another Dane Viktor Axelsen in the quarterfinal played on Friday. Another Indian RMV Gurusaidutt, who had ended Sameer Verma’s run on the third day, also lost his quarterfinal game against China’s Xue Song in three games. But Friday’s biggest casualty was no.3 seed Lin Dan, who lost in the quarterfinals after being stretched to three games by Indonesia’s no.8 seed Tommy Sugiarto.
Playing brilliantly, top seeded Indian, Saina Nehwal defeated Hana Ramadhini of Indonesia 21-15, 21-12. In a match that lasted just 39 minutes, Saina didn’t allow any foot hold to the wayward Indonesian. After the match, Saina said it was not about no.1 or no.2 spots in world rankings but concentrating on the next match held the key. India made another signature statement, when men’s no. 2 seed Kidambi Srikanth also entered the semifinal after some hard work. World No.4 Srikanth had to overcome a strong challenge from Japan’s Takuma Ueda, who stretched the Indian to three games. Srikanth won the first at 21-15 but the Japanese was tenacious in the second. The game was finally decided in favor of the Japanese at 25-23 as Ueda managed to force the decider. Srikanth exercised tremendous self-control in the third game despite the forceful Japanese refusing to yield easy points. Regardless, Srikanth prevailed in the third game and wrapped up the match at 21-15, 23-25, 21-18 after 78 grueling minutes. For a place in the final, Srikanth will have to get past China’s Xue Song, who won against another Indian RMV Gurusaidutt 15-21, 21-18, 21-13 in one hour four minutes. Gurusaidutt, who had ended Sameer Verma’s run on the third day, fought hard but had to yield against the committed Chinese.
Another Indian HS Prannoy, who created ripples on day 3 by beating the top men’s seed Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark, lost his quarterfinal match to another Denmark player no.6 seed Viktor Axelsen. It looked as if Axelsen was determined to take revenge of his compatriot Jorgensen’s defeat and he fulfilled his ambition by beating Prannoy 16-21, 21-9, 21-18 in 58 minutes. But the match of the day involved no.3 seed Lin Dan of China and no.8 seed Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia. It was a thrilling encounter in which Sugiarto made the Chinese move all over the court and elicited a number of unforced errors from the world-famous Chinese. For the first time in a super-series match, the Super Dan was stretched to three games and then lost thematch to Sugiarto 17-21, 21-15, 17-21. After the match, Sugiarto credited his win to his father, the legendary Icuk Sugiarto and former world champion, who now coaches him.
In men’s doubles, no.1 seeds Mathis Boe/Carsten Mogensen of Denmark defeated China’s no.6 seeds Wang Yilv/Zhang Wen 21-19, 21-14. For the place in the final, they will compatriots and no. 7 seeds Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding. Conrad-Petersen/Pieler Kolding also got past the no. 4 seeded Chinese pair of Liu Xiaolong/Qiu Zihan. Chinese no.3 seeded pair of Chai Biao/Hong Wei defeated the Japanese duo and no.5 seeds Hirokatsu Hashimoto/Noriyasu Hirata 13-21, 21-19, 21-15. The fourth semifinalists were the 8th seeded Russians Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov who beat Japan’s no.2 seeds Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa 25-23, 11-21, 21-12..
In women’s doubles, top-seeded Japanese women’s duo Matsutomo/Takahashi defeated Korean pair of Lee so Hee/Shin Seung Chan; Christinna Pedersen/Kamila Rytter of Denmark beat Hong Kong’s Chan Kaka Tse Ka/Tse Ying Suet; China’s Bao Yixin/Tang Jinhua beat Korea’s Chang Ye Na/Yoo Hae Wan and in an all-Chinese quarterfinal, China’s Luo Ying/Luo Yu beat Ou Donghi/Xiaohan Yu.
In mixed doubles, top seeds Joachim Fischer-Nielsen/ Christinna Pedersen beat Japan’s Kenichi Hayakawa/Misaki Matsutomo; Indonesians Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto defeated China’s Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong; another Indonesian pair Edi Subaktiar/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja defeated compatriots Chayut Triyachart/Shinta Mulia Sari and Chinese pair of Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin beat Denmark’s Mads Pieler Kolding/ Kamila Rytter.
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