Canada Open badminton: Ajay Jayaram, Sai Praneeth enter semi-finals

Calgary (Canada), July 2: Indian shuttlers Ajay Jayaram and B Sai Praneeth advanced to the semi-finals of the USD 55,000 Canada Open Grand Prix badminton tournament after notching up contrasting victories in the men's singles competition here.

Top seeded Jayaram defeated fellow Indian Harsheel Dani 21-18, 19-21, 21-8 in a hard-fought that lasted 47 minutes. The two-time Dutch Open winner, Jayaram will face Korea's Lee Hyun Il, seeded third, in the semi-finals.

A file picture of Ajay Jayaram

Fourth seed Praneeth too made it to the final four after brushing aside eighth seed Raul Must of Estonia 21-14, 21-16 in just 33 minutes to set up a clash against seventh seeded Frenchman Brice Leverdez, who had ended the campaign of second seed H S Prannoy of India. Prannoy played out of skin before going down fighting 22-20 21-23 18-21 to Leverdez.

In women's singles, it was curtains for Ruthvika Shivani Gadde and Tanvi Lad. While Ruthvika suffered a 16-21 12-21 loss to fourth seed Linda Zetchiri of Bulgaria, Tanvi fought hard before going down 16-21, 21-15, 10-21 to third seed Iris Wang of USA.

Among other Indians in fray, top seeds Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, who have qualified for Rio Olympics, were given a walkover by Canada's Ted (Chin Tai) Chen and Chinese Taipei's Liao Chao Hsiang in the men's doubles event. The Indian duo will play Indonesia's Andrei Adistia and Canada's Dong Adam (Xingyu).

Rio-bound women's doubles team of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, seeded top, gave a walkover to Leanne Choo of Australia and Rachel Honderich of Canada.

In another women's doubles match, Jakkampudi Meghana and S Poorvisha Ram suffered a narrow 21-18 16-21 20-22 loss to Hung Yi-Ting and Su Hsiang Ling of Chinese Taipei.

Manu and Ashwini also gave a walkover to fourth seed Nico Ruponen and Amanda Hogstrom of Sweden in the mixed doubles competition.


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