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Chetan Anand goes down fighting in semifinals

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Melbourne, Mar 24 (UNI) Fourth seeded Chetan Anand waged a grim battle against world number nine Choong Wong of Malaysia before going down 1-2 in the semifinals of the men's open Badminton competition of the Commonwealth Games here today.

In another blow to Indian suttlers, women's doubles pair of Trupti Murgunde and Sania Nehawal also lost their semifinal match against top seed Malaysian duo of Hui Eei Chin and Tty Pei Wong rather tamely.

Chetan-Wong match was a gruelling 57-minute affair with both the players sharing the first two sets, but in the decider the Malaysian held on to his nerves while the Indian conceded a couple of negative points and committed unforced errors that cost him the match and a place in the final.

Wong, a southpaw shuttler, played an attacking game in the first set and did not allow his Indian rival to settle down. The Malaysian attacked from the flanks and that exposed Chetan's defence.

Wong also defended himself well and Chetan found hard to get past his rival. Most of the long rallies ended in Malaysian's favour as he applied the 'kill' when the Indian was near the net or in the middle of the court.

Chetan just could not comprehend Wong's game in the first set and lost it in 12 minutes (11-21).

In the second set, Chetan trailed 2-9 and 7-12 but regrouped himself and raced to 11-12 and after that it was neck and neck between the two with the Indian making it 16-17, 17-17 and then overtaking the Malaysian 18-17.

At this crucial moment, Wong conceded a negative point to see the fourth seed taking 19-17 lead and then making it 20-17 and here Chetan's close placement at the net was returned by Wong but referee disallowed this point and the Indian won the set 21-17 in 22 minutes.

However, Chetan failed to sustain the same form in the third set as he struggled to find his rhythm and Wong raced to 15-5 lead. The Indian fought back and with two superb tapings on the net he reduced the gap but the Malaysian managed a good lead at 17-13.

There ensued a long rally, but Chetan in attempting to send a powerful forehand across the net committed an error and after that Wong gave him no chance and wrapped up the set and the match.

Chetan lost 11-21, 21-17, 13-21.

In the women's doubles semifinals, Trupti and Saina threw in the towel without offering a fight to the high profile duo of Tty Pei Wong and Hui Eei Chin. The Malaysians justified their rankings as they humbled the rivals 21-8, 21-3 in 16 minutes reducing the tie to no contest.

Earlier, national champion Anup Sridhar put up a tough resistance against top seed and world number two Wei Chong Lee of Malaysia in the quarter-finals before bowing out.

Sridhar battled it out for 37 minutes but Lee proved very strong in his technique and approach and the Indian lost 15-21, 18-21.

Olympian Aparna Popat also lost her quarter finals to unheralded Alice Elizabeth Cann of Jersey in straight sets 13-21, 15-21 in just 28 minutes.

UNI HSB PDS PC1607

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