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Sindhu shocked; Lakshya moves into maiden India Open final


Supanida Katethong is a little-known Thai girl looking to make a mark in badminton. Coming from a nation that has seven players ranked in the world’s top-50 in women’s badminton — India has just two — left-handed Supanida chose the semifinal stage of the $400,000 India Open on Saturday to showcase her prowess by knocking out P.V. Sindhu.

With a stunning display of temperament in the deciding game, Supanida signed off for a 21-14, 13-21, 21-10 victory in 59 minutes to set up an all-Thailand final with Busanan Ongbamrungphan.

Busanan saved five game-points in the opening game against India No. 3 Aakarshi Kashyap before posting a 26-24, 21-9 victory.

For the home fans, the exit of Sindhu took away much joy from the expected semifinal victories of men’s third seed Lakshya Sen and men’s doubles second seed Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty.

For Lakshya, it will be his maiden final of the India Open, a BWF World Tour event.

Earlier, Lakshya battled hard to down a far lower-ranked Ng Tze Yong. The Malaysian, ranked 60 as compared to Lakshya’s 17, took the first game and led 11-9 at the mid-game interval of the second. Thereafter, Lakshya found his game and won 19-21, 21-16, 21-12.

The results:

Semifinals (Indians unless stated): Men: Loh Kean Yew (Sgp) w/o. Brian Yang (Can); Lakshya Sen bt Ng Tze Yong (Mas) 19-21, 21-16, 21-12; (Doubles): Mohammad Ahsan & Hendra Setiawan (Ina) bt Ong Yew Sin & Teo Ee Yi (Mas) 21-15, 21-18; Satwiksairaj Rankireddy & Chirag Shetty bt Fabien Delrue & William Villeger (Fra) 21-10, 21-18.

Women: Supanda Katethong (Tha) bt P. V. Sindhu 21-14, 13-21, 21-10; Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Tha) bt Aakarshi Kashyap 26-24, 21-9; (Doubles): Benyapa Aimsaard & Nuntakarn Aimsaard (Tha) bt Haritha Harinarayanan & Ashna Roy 21-12, 21-9; Anastasiia Akchurina & Olga Morozova (Rus) received a walkover from Ekaterina Malkova & Anastasiia Shapovalova (Rus).

Mixed doubles: Chen Tang Jie & Peck Yen Wei (Mas) bt Tan Kian Meng & Lai Pei Jing (Mas) 21-19, 21-23, 21-14; Hee Yong Kai Terry & Tan Wei Han (Sgp) w/o. Rodion Alimov & Alina Devletova (Rus).

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