Two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy put on smashing performances to make their way to the women’s and men’s singles finals respectively at the Swiss Open Super 300 badminton tournament here on Saturday. World No. 7 Sindhu triumphed 21-18 15-21 21-19 over Thailand’s Supanida Katethong in a 79-minute women’s singles semi-final to make her second consecutive final after Prannoy won a hard-fought 21-19 19-21 21-18 beat Indonesian No. 5 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting for his first meeting at the summit in five years.
Second-placed Sindhu will face another Thai player and fourth-seeded Busanan Ongbamrungphan in Sunday’s top match, while Prannoy, who last won the US Open in 2017, will face compatriot Kidambi Srikanth of the Indonesian Jonatan Christie in the men’s singles final, also on Sunday.
The 26-year-old from Hyderabad starts as a favorite against Busanan, whom she has beaten 15 times in 16 encounters so far.
Sindhu and the world’s number 29, Supanida, had split the spoils in this year’s two encounters and the Indian showed great nerves against the battling Thai to emerge unscathed in Saturday’s semi-final.
In the opening match, Sindhu, who had won the Syed Modi International in January, used the field well, producing smashes and follow-up shots to rack up points. Supanida tried to stay in the rallies, but she couldn’t finish them.
At the first break, Sindhu had a three-point lead, which she extended to 15-7 with a four-point run. The southpaw Thai tried to attack and dominate the rallies to narrow the deficit to 13-18.
She wasn’t consistent enough, though, as Sindhu took five game points when the Thai went long.
The Indian then found the net, while Supanida took two more runs before hitting one to the nets to let the Indian win the opening game.
Supanida continued her momentum after the switch camps, taking a 16-7 lead in short order, with Sindhu looking erratic and struggling with the Thai player’s trickery.
The Thai eventually roared back into the game as Sindhu went to the nets.
The Hyderabadi shuttler came back strong in the decision-making phase to take a 4-1 lead, but Supanida again smashed his way to a 7-7 tie.
Both shuttlers tried to take control of the forecourt, with Sindhu taking a one-point lead in the final break.
Sindhu picked up the pace in the rallies to get to 16-13, but Supanida took five straight points to outdo the Indian. It was soon 18-18 and Supanida went wide.
A lucky net chord helped Sindhu go to 19-19 as she held the match point with a smash and she sealed it with another powerful smash.
Previously, former world No. 8 Prannoy, who struggled with health issues after being diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease in 2018 and COVID-19 in 2019, showed great resilience against a battling Ginting in the men’s semi-finals.
Prannoy, currently 26th in the world rankings, grabbed the initiative early and held a 6-3 lead which was quickly erased by Ginting to go to a 12-19 lead at one point.
A five-point outburst gave Prannoy a small two-point lead, which he held until 18-16 before a net error and a service foul tied his rival.
However, Ginting himself went into the net twice to hand Prannoy a game point and the Indian sealed it with a precise return on his rival’s forecourt.
After a close battle in the second game, it was Ginting who took a three-point lead at half-time after a few errors by the Indian at the net and front.
The Indian fought his way back to 18-19 but an error of judgment at the backline gave Ginting one game point, who squandered one with a net error before Prannoy went out to allow his rival to make a comeback.
In the decider, Prannoy took an 8-5 lead and increased it to 14-8, but stumbled on a series of errors that made it 15-19 for Ginting. The Indian eventually unleashed a smash to take four match points. He wasted two before going into the final with one more precise return. “Yessssss ! Final of the Swiss Open ! A really tough one against Ginting tonight! Happy with that win today. One more to go, Let’s get it”, Prannoy tweeted after the game.
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)
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