New Zealand Open
B Sai Praneeth, the world 18 number on Friday entered semi-finals in Men’s Single Badminton Tournament, however, two-time Olympic champion Sameer Verma lost to China’s Lin Dan.
Sai wrapped up a comfortable win over Sri Lanka’s Niluka Karunaratne. The world No 18 needed just 29 minutes to triumph 21-7, 21-9 in the quarter-final. He will now play against second seed Jonatan Christie in the semi-final on Saturday.
In the other quarter-finals of the Men’s Singles, Sameer lost to top-seeded Lin Dan in a one-sided bout. The Chinese player defeated Sameer 21-19, 21-9 in 40 minutes to finish out. This was the first encounter between world’s 10th seed Dan and 26th ranker Sameer.
In Men’s doubles, B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri lost 10-21, 15-21 against fourth seeds Thailand’s Bodin Isara and Nipitphon Phuangphuapet.
India’s only hope now lies with Praneeth, who will battle it out against Kristin of Indonesia, to secure a place in the finals.