While India’s Ajay Jayaram entered the final-four of the 2015 Russian Grand Prix badminton by defeating Malaysian fifth seed Wei Feng Chong, India were not so lucky in the women singles draw. Tanvi Lad fought a fierce battle against Russian Evegeniya Kosetskaya before losing in three games. Jayaram now takes on Indonesia’s top-seed Tommy Sugiarto, who reached the semifinals by defeating Spain’s Pablo Abian. In another success for India on Friday, the mixed doubles pair of Akshay Dewalkar and Prajakta Sawant played creditably to enter the semifinals. Dewalkar and Sawant easily defeated the French pair of Ronan Labar and Emilie Lefel in the quarterfinals. For a place in the final now, Dewalkar/Sawant will have to beat the Japanese pair of Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino. India’s men’s doubles team of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy have already entered the semifinals yesterday and they will now face the top-seed Russian pair of Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov on Saturday.


Ajay JayaramThe third seeded Indian Ajay Jayaram came up with another forceful display in his quarterfinal match against no.5 seed Wei Feng Chong of Malaysia in the Russian Open badminton tournament on Friday morning. Wei Feng Chong found his Indian opponent too hot to handle as he lost 15-21, 13- 21 in just 30 minutes. Jayaram, however, is going to find it tough in the semifinal, when he takes on tournament top seed Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia. On his part, the Indonesian had an easy passage into the semis by beating Spain’s no.6 seed Pablo Abian 21-17, 21-9 in the course of a 40-minute match. The other two semifinalists in men’s singles draw are Estonia’s Raul Must and Malaysian fourth seed Zulfadli Zulkiffli. While Must defeated Russia’s eleventh seed Vladimir Malkov 21-18, 21-14; Zulkiffli scored a 21-17, 21-9 victory over Israel’s eighth seeded Misha Zilberman.


Tanvi Lad’s fighting progress in the tournament came to an end on Friday as she lost her quarterfinal match against the unseeded Russian Evgeniya Kosetskaya. But the Indian didn’t give in easily. She fought all the way beginning with a tenacious first game that was decided at 28-26 in the Russian’s favor. While Tanvi looked a bit exhausted in the second game, which she lost 13-21. Tanvi, however, bounced back in the third and kept battling until the Russian snatched the victory from her at 21-19. Other women semifinalists on Friday were; Czech Republic’s Kristina Gavnholt, who beat Russia’s Natalia Perminova 21-16, 21-17; Japanese qualifier Chisato Hoshi, who defeated USA’s no.3 seed Iris Wang 21-18, 23-21 and another Japanese qualifier Mayu Matsumoto, who also beat an American, Jamie Subandhi 21-9, 21-14.


India has secured two more semifinals berths in the Russian Open. In mixed doubles, the team of Akshay Dewalkar and Prajakta Sawant continued their march with a 21-16, 21-16 quarterfinal victory over the French combo of Ronan Labar and Emilie Lefel. For a place in the final on Saturday, the Indian duo will take on the Japanese pair of Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino, who defeated Russians Evgenij Dremin and Evgenia Dimova 21-17, 21-16. The men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy had already confirmed their place in the semifinal on Thursday with a walkover in quarterfinals. On Saturday, Attri/Reddy will face Russia’s top seeded pair of Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov, who triumphed with a 21-14, 21-13 victory over Malaysians Kien Keet Koo and Boon Heong Tan.