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Saina bows out, Sai Praneeth advances to final in Thailand

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Thailand Open Praneeth Pratul Jaiswal enter second round

Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and B Sai Praneeth stormed into the semi-finals of the $1,20,000 Thailand Open Grand Prix badminton tournament with contrasting wins in the women's and men's singles quarter-finals, respectively, here on Friday.

Singapore Open champion Praneeth, who is ranked 24, will take on Indonesia's Jonatan Christie, who made it into the final with 21-9, 21-18 win over Joo Ven Soong.

Thongnuam started well in the second game, leading 6-3 at one stage. While the first game was pocketed fast by the Indian, the Thai came back strong in the second to keep just a point's difference at the interval.

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Saina made her task hard by committing a large number of unforced errors in the second game of her match. From there on, he did not let his Thai opponent make a recovery and won the game comfortably. The match was stretched to the decider but this time Saina gave the Japanese no chance and maintained her lead throughout to take clinch the tie 21-11. However, the London Olympic bronze medallist has not had a good season, barring her Malaysia Masters win earlier this year.

The second game was a much closer contest as the duo shared the first 8 points equally, before Saina managed to get her nose ahead with the scoreboard reading 7-5.

Both players have met thrice in the past, and the ace Indian shuttler has won all of those matches.

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