Saina stays on course; Kashyap ousted

Saina Nehwal beat China’s Zhou Zeqi to enter the last four stage of the Syed Modi International badminton championships in Lucknow on Friday. PTI File Photo

Sameer Verma stayed on course for his title defence while three-time former champion Saina Nehwal too reached the semifinals with an easy win at the Syed Modi International World Tour Super 300 tournament here on Friday.

Besides Sameer and Saina, Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwik Rankireddy too notched up twin victories to keep India’s title hopes alive in all the three doubles categories.

Sameer eked out a 21-18, 16-21, 21-11 win over China’s Zhou Zeqi and will square off against Indonesian Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo in the semifinals.

Saina beat former national champion Rituparna Das 21-19, 21-14 to set up a meeting with Indonesia’s Ruselli Hartawan.

However, Parupalli Kashyap and 2017 Singapore Open champion B Sai Praneeth bowed out after suffering contrasting defeats.

Kashyap went down 16-21, 19-21 to eighth seeded Thai Sitthikom Thammasin, while Praneeth’s fight ended with a 10-21, 21-19, 14-21 loss to sixth seeded Chinese Lu Guangzu in another quarterfinal.

In men’s doubles, Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty defeated Chinese combination of Ou Xuanyi and Ren Xiangyu 15-21, 21-19, 21-17.

Satwiksairaj also paired up with Ashwini to outclass Indonesia’s Ronald and Annisa Saufika 20-22, 21-17, 21-11 in the mixed doubles quarterfinals.

Ashwini too combined with her women’s doubles partner N Sikki Reddy to prevail 19-21, 21-8, 21-18 over Indonesia’s Tania Oktaviani Kusumah and Vania Arianti Sukoco.

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Saina stays on course; Kashyap ousted

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