Saina Nehwal Battles Into Thailand Open Semis


Bangkok: Indian tennis ace Saina Nehwal produced a spirited performance as she bounced back from a game down against Japan’s Haruko Suzuki to book her place in the semi-finals of the Thailand Open here on Friday.

After comfortably winning the first game, the London Olympics bronze medallist went down in the second before rebounding strongly to register a 21-15, 20-22, 21-11 win over her Japanese opponent Suzuki in an exhilarating last-eight contest that lasted one hour and nine minutes.

The second-seed will now lock horns with Thailand’s Busanan Ongbumrungpan, the fourth seed, for a place in the summit showdown. In the men’s singles event, third-seed B.Sai Praneeth also stormed into the last-four of the tournament after clinching an easy 21-16, 21-17 triumph over Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand in a quarter-final clash that lasted 50 minutes at the Nimibutr Stadium.

In their only meeting before today’s match, Praneeth had outplayed Wangcharoen 18-21, 21-14, 21-15 at the Indonesian Masters last year.