Lucknow: Defending men's champion Kidambi Srikanth suffered a shock defeat but Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu did not face any trouble as she sailed into the women's singles final with a straight-game victory on an exciting day in Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament in Lucknow on Saturday.
Ninth seed B Sai Praneeth, who had clinched the Canada Open Grand Prix last year, knocked out third seed Srikanth 15-21 21-10 21-17 in the men's singles match that stretched on for nearly an hour at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor stadium, which was thronged by thousands of spectators on Saturday.
In the women's singles clash, Sindhu, who had clinched her maiden Super Series Premier title at China Open and reached the finals at Hong Kong last year, defeated Indonesian fourth-seed Fitriani Fitriani 21-11 21-19 in a 38-minute contest.
The 21-year-old from Hyderabad will face Indonesia's Gregoria Mariska in the summit clash. The 17-year-old Indonesian, who is a two-time silver medallist at World Junior Championships, shocked higher-ranked compatriot Hanna Ramadini, seeded sixth, 21-19 21-14 in another match.
Among other Indians, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also dished out some gritty performances to guide India to the finals of the women's and mixed doubles events in the $120,000 tournament.
Playing only their second tournament together, Ashwini and B Sumeeth Reddy scored a stunning 19-21 21-18 21-18 win over London Olympics bronze medallists and top seeds Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen from Denmark in the second semi-finals.
Earlier, Ashwini and Sikki reached their maiden finals of a Grand Prix Gold event after seeing off fellow Indian combination of Sanjana Santosh and Arathi Sara Sunil 18-21 21-12 21-13 in a hard-fought women's doubles contest.
The 23-year-old Sikki then combined with her mixed doubles partner Pranaav Jerry Chopra to edge out fifth seeded Danish pair of Mathias Christiansen and Sara Thygesen 21-18 21-13 in the first semi-final match.
Ashwini, who had clinched the bronze at 2011 World Championship and gold at 2010 Commonwealth Games along with women's doubles partner Jwala Gutta, had paired up with Sikki late last year after ending her earlier partnership following the Rio Olympics.
Ashwini and Sikki, who had reached the finals at Welsh International last month, will now lock horns with top seeds and World No 2 Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen. The Rio Olympics silver medallist pair from Denmark knocked out third seeded Malaysians Yin Loo Lim and Yap Cheng Wen 23-21 21-14 in another semi-final.
Published Date: Jan 28, 2017 23:25 PM | Updated Date: Jan 28, 2017 23:25 PM