Semi-final report: Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu will battle for supremacy in the women's singles final of the Senior Badminton National Championship after scoring contrasting victories.
Saina, who is currently ranked World No. 11, hardly broke a sweat as she defeated fifth seed Anura Prabhudesai 21-11 21 -10 while World No 2 and top seed Sindhu was surprisingly stretched by Ruthvika Shivani before prevailing 17-21, 21-15, 21-11 in the semifinals.
L-R: Kidambi Srikanth, PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy. Image courtesy: Agencies
In the men's singles, it will be a clash between World No 2 Kidambi Srikanth and giant-killer H S Prannoy in a repeat of their semifinal battle at the French Open Super Series a little over a week ago.
Second seed Prannoy overcame Subhankar Dey 21-14, 21-17, while top seed Srikanth saw off young rising shuttler Lakshya Sen 21-16, 21-18.
The possibility of a Saina versus Sindhu clash was high after the star shuttlers confirmed their participation in the tournament.
Saina hasn't competed at the Senior Nationals since winning back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007, while Sindhu too gave the domestic tournament a miss after winning the 2011 and 2013 editions.
The two, who are employees of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), have met twice in international competitions. Their first meeting was at the 2014 Syed Modi International before they played each other in India Super Series this year.
While Saina prevailed in 2014, Sindhu had the last laugh in Delhi.
Srikanth and Prannoy have played four times in their international career but it was the former who had the last laugh on the last three occasions. The only time Prannoy had beaten Srikanth was way back at the 2011 Tata Open.
Srikanth has been in the form of his life as he clinched four titles after reaching five finals this season to join the likes of two-time former Olympic champion Lin Dan, three-time Olympic silver medallists Lee Chong Wei and current Olympic gold medallist Chen Long.
Prannoy too have been in fine form as he reached the semifinals at Indonesia Super Series Premier and French Open Super Series to achieve his career-high ranking of World No 11. He had outwitted Chong Wei twice and defeated Chen once during this season.
Updated Date: Nov 08, 2017 20:14 PM