Badminton: Jwala-Ashwini only Indians to reach Canada Open semis
The Commonwealth Games silver medallist pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa were the last remaining Indian players at the Canada Open after reaching the semifinals of the US$ 50,000 Grand Prix badminton tournament on Friday.
The 2011 World Championship bronze medallists notched up a 21-19, 21-13 win over the Hong Kong combo of Chan Kaka Tsz Ka and Yuen Sin Ying in women’s doubles competition at the Markin MacPhail Centre.
The third-seeded Indian pair will next take on Japan’s Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto. The 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallists Jwala and Ashwini had reached the semifinals of US Open Grand Prix Gold last week to attain their career-best ranking of World No. 13.
Among other Indians, B Sai Praneeth and Ajay Jayaram bowed out of the quarter-finals in the men’s singles event, while the women’s doubles pair of Pradnya Gadre and N Sikki Reddy also suffered a loss.
The 22-year-old Praneeth, seeded 10th, went down fighting 13-21, 21-18, 11-21 to two-time Olympic silver medallist and former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei. It was his second successive loss to Lee in two weeks after losing to the Malaysian at the US Open semi-finals.
Ninth seed Jayaram, meanwhile, lost to top seed Marc Zwiebler of Germany 16-21, 15-21 in another quarter-final match.
In women’s doubles, Pradnya and Sikki produced a gallant fight but it ended with a heartbreaking 18-21, 25-23, 15-21 loss to Poon Lok Yan and Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong.