Chetan to meet 12th ranked Ponsana in finals

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Hyderabad, Apr 5 (UNI) National champion Chetan Anand thrashed English rival Andrew Smith in straight sets to meet top seed Boonsak Ponsana in the men's singles finals of Yonex Sunrise Indian Open Gold Grand Prix Badminton Championships here today.

India's lone challenge Chetan Anand ranked 71 in the world crushed 35th ranked Andrew Smith 21-6, 21-9 in just 25 minutes to enter the first final of Grand Prix event.

He went on attacking from the start and raced to 14-1 lead before winning the first set with ease 21-6. This demoralised his English opponent who could not put up better show in second set.

Chetan executing powerful smashes and perfect drop shots made Smith feel nervous and comitt mistakes, as most of his shots went out or into net.

Later, speaking to the mediapersons Chetan said, ''it was quiet an easy victory contrary to my expectations. But I was mentally prepared for a close encounter. My home crowd in Hyderabad supported me as always. I am also looking forward for the final match where I would like to put up better show as my opponent Boonsak Ponsan was a very experienced player.'' The 12th ranked Thai star Boonsak Ponsana, who was seeded top here, came back to beat 28th ranked Japanese opponent Sho Sasaki in a hard fought semifinal. Ponsana after losing the first set at 19-21, came back strongly to demolish Sasaki in the next two sets 21-14, 21-15.

Earlier, Chinese favourite Lu Lan and Zhou Mi of Hong Kong entered the women's singles final.

All England Championship runner up and World Championship semifinalist Lu Lan failed to live up in the first set as she lost 17-21. She came back strongly and won the remaining two sets 21-7, 21-10 and booked her place in the final.

Other semifinal match between world 11th ranked Zhou Mi from Hong Kong and 13th ranked Eriko Hirose from Japan, also saw a seesaw battle of three sets. Hirose after winning the first set 21-18 surrendered meekly to Zhou Mi in the remaining two games 12-21, 12-21.

Semifinals results Women's singles: Lu Lan (Chn) bt Zhu Lin (Chn) 17-21, 21-7, 21-10; Zhou Mi (Hkg) bt Eriko Hirose (Jpn) 18-21, 21-12, 21-12.

Mixed doubles: He Hanbin/Yu Yang (Chn) bt Robert Mateusiak/Nadiezda Kostiuczyk (Pol) 21-14, 21-19; Kristof Hopp/Birgit Overzier (Ger) bt Fang Chieh Min/Cheng Wen Hsing (Tpe) 21-19, 22-20.

Men's singles: Boonsak Ponsana (Tai) bt Sho Sasaki (Jpn) 19-21, 21-14, 21-15; Chetan Anand (Ind) bt Andrew Smith (Eng) 21-6, 21-9.

UNI XR/DB LS KP2136

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