Two-time Olympic medallist P V Sindhu reached the women’s singles final of the Syed Modi International badminton tournament after her fifth seeded Russian opponent Evgeniya Kosetskaya retired hurt midway into their semifinal in Lucknow on Saturday.
Four doubles pairs from India will also be competing across three finals on Sunday.
Sindhu, the top seed, easily pocketed the first game 21-11 before Kosetskaya conceded the second women’s singles semifinal match.
It was expected to be an easy outing for Sindhu going by form, world ranking as well as head-to-head record. Ranked seventh in the BWF rankings, Sindhu had defeated world number 28 Kosetskaya twice before Saturday’s tie, and the Indian ace once again came out on top to extend her dominant record against the Russian.
Former world champion Sindhu will face compatriot Malvika Bansod in the summit clash on Sunday.
Malvika defeated another Indian, Anupama Upadhyaya, 19-21 21-19 21-7 in a tough three-game contest. She was in trouble against the 16-year-old opponent who was fantastic in her defence and net-play, and led 19-16 in the second game. But Malvika, after a mini break in momentum, went on to win five straight points from there and then the decider proved to be a fairly easy affair with the teenager physically struggling.
The 20-year-old left-hander, who had defeated her idol Saina Nehwal at the India Open, will now get to face the top-ranked female shuttler from the country to test her mettle.
However, it was curtains for India in men singles as Mithun Manjunath fought his heart out before bowing out 19-21 21-17 9-21 against Arnaud Merkle of France in the semifinals.
In the women’s doubles the seventh seeded Indian pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand entered the final with a come-from-behind 17-21 21-8 21-16 win over Malaysian duo of Low Yeen Yuan and Valeree Siow. The Indian pair will be up against eighth-seeded Malaysian combination of Anna Ching Yik Cheong and Teoh Mei Xing in the final.
It will be an all-Indian contest in the mixed doubles final with the pairs of seventh seed Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto squaring off against T Hema Nagendra Babu and Srivedya Gurazada.
In the men’s doubles, sixth seed Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala will be up against Malaysia’s eighth seeds Wei Chong Kai Wun Tee in the summit clash.
Man Wei Chang and Kei Woon Tai (Malaysia) defeated fourth seeds MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila (India) 21-16, 21-12.
Along with Sindhu, the Indian players who have made it to the finals include Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto and T. Hema Nagendra Babu in mixed doubles, Malvika Bansod in women’s singles, Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Panjala in men’s doubles, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand in women’s doubles.
Here’s the order of play on Sunday:
With PTI inputs