US Open GPG: HS Prannoy, Parupalli Kashyap set up final clash, Manu Attri-B Sumeeth Reddy go out in semis
Prannoy notched up a 21-14 21-19 win over Vietnam's Tien Minh Nguyen in the first semi-final while Kashyap eked out a hard-fought 15-21 21-15 21-16 win over Korean Kwang Hee Heo in the second semifinal which lasted an hour and six minutes.
Anaheim: The Indian juggernaut in men's badminton continued to roll on with former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap setting up a title date with HS Prannoy at the $120,000 US Open Grand Prix Gold.
After limping out of the court with a calf injury in October 2015, it is the first final for Kashyap in 21 months, while Prannoy, who has always been plagued by injuries,also reached his first summit clash after clinching the Swiss Open in 2016.
Kashyap eked out a hard-fought 15-21 21-15 21-16 win over Korean Kwang Hee Heo in the second semifinal which lasted an hour and six minutes.
Prannoy, on the other hand, notched up a 21-14 21-19 win over Vietnam's Tien Minh Nguyen in the first semi-final.
It will be the second time this season that two Indians will fight it out for the title at international badminton.
In April, Kidambi Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth had played in the finals of Singapore Open with the latter claiming his maiden Super Series title.
Men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy fought hard before going down 12-21 21-12 20-22 to top seeds Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han.
"It is good to reach a final after a long time. It was a tough match against the Korean. He had started really well and I took time to adjust to the conditions today as it was little slow. He was really patient and he was hitting hard smashes. But slowly I got a good rhythm and eventually I could pull off," Kashyap told PTI.
"I think it was a difficult tournament to start with as the opening round was also against a player I had always had close matches. I had played him 5-6 times and I was good to win in the first round. Also playing against Sameer was tough. He is a tricky player and it has always been close matches with him. Really looking forward to the final," he added.
It will be third Grand Prix Gold title for Indian men's shuttlers after Sameer and Praneeth clinched the Syed Modi International and Thailand Open respectively. Indian men also won three super series titles with Srikanth clinching the Indonesia and Australia Open and Praneeth winning at Singapore.
Besides Srikanth, the other players withdrawn are Ashwini Ponnappa, Ritika Rahul Thakar, Treesa Jolly, Mithun Manjunath, Simran Aman Singh and Khushi Gupta.
Sindhu hardly broke any sweat but Prannoy had to toil hard as the two Indian shuttlers progressed to the women's and men's singles quarterfinals on Thursday.
Prannoy entered the second round of the men's singles competition at the tournament after registering a straight-game win over Ukraine's Danylo Bosniuk on Tuesday.