Guru advances to semis, Thulasi knocked out of Badminton tournament

Mumbai: Top seed R M V Gurusaidutt entered the men`s singles semi-finals, but women`s defending champion P C Thulasi and reigning national champion Sayali Gokhale were knocked out of the USD 15,000 Tata Open India International Challenge Badminton tournament here on friday.

Gurusaidutt, the defending men`s champion, came through two rounds to reach the last four.

First he outclassed compatriot Mohit Kamat in pre-quarter finals and then the title holder stepped up his play when needed in the second game after trailing 4-7 to shut out Chinese Taipei rival Chia Hung Lu 21-12 21-18.

Thulasi, seeded fourth, could not counter the pace and power of her Chinese Taipei rival Chia Tsin Lee, the sixth seed, and went down in straight games.

The Indian shuttler made a strong recovery from 0-13 in the second game before losing the quarterfinal tie 14-21 18-21 at the Cricket Club of India here.

Eighth seeded Sayali, who won the national crown last year at Srinagar, gave a good fight to Chinese Taipei`s Yu Chieh Cheng before losing 10-21 25-23 21-19 in the pre-quarterfinals.

For the major part of the one hour encounter between Sayali and Cheng, the Indian looked most likely to make the last eight grade. But it was Cheng`s ability to raise the bar on crucial points that made the difference.

Also knocked out in the pre-quarters was the corresponding men`s seed Anup Sridhar who was beaten 21-15 21-10 by Taipei`s Chia Hung Lu.

Men`s fourth seed Saurabh Varma completely dominated his challenger, junior national champion Aditya Joshi, in an one-sided quarterfinal match to enter the semis with a thumping 21-8 21-9 victory.

Gurusaidutt will meet Varma on saturday.

Last year`s losing finalist and tournament top seed Febby Angguni of Indonesia sailed through to the last four with a 21-8 21-13 demolition of fifth seeded Indian rival Saili Rane in their quarterfinal match.

Results (all Indians unless stated otherwise):

Men`s singles (pre quarter finals): R M V Gurusaidutt (1) def. Mohit Kamat 21-15 21-19; Chia Hung Lu, TPE, def. Anup Sridhar (8) 21-15 21-10; Sourabh Varma (4) def. Yi-Hsiang Yang, TPE, 21-7 21-15; Aditya Joshi def. Neeraj Vashist 16-21 21-10 21-14; Chetan Anand (6) def. Mohamed Ajfan Rasheed, MDV, 21-15 21-9; H S Prannoy (3) def. Talar Laa 21-15 21-13; Sheng-Jie Yang, TPE, def. Harsheel Dani 14-21 21-19 21-19; B Sai Praneeth (2) def. Aditya Prakash 21-14 21-12.

Quarter finals: R M V Gurusaidutt (1) def. Chia Hung Lu, TPE, 21-12 21-18; Saurabh Varma (4) def. Aditya Joshi 21-8 21-9.

Women`s singles (Pre quarter finals): Febby Angguni (1), INA, def. Arathi Sara Sunil 21-14 21-4; Saili Rane (5) def. Wen Chi Hsu, TPE, 19-21 21-19 21-14; Dinar Dyah Ayustine, INA, def. Neha Pandit 21-14 21-7; Yu Chieh Cheng, TPE, def. Sayali Gokhale (8) 10-21 25-23 21-19; Chia Hsin Lee (6), TPE, def. Lekha Handunkuttihettige, SRI, 18-21 21-14 21-9; P C Thulasi (4) def. Mohita Sahdev 21-17 21-14; Trupti Murgunde (7) def. Riya Pillai 21-13 21-15; Ana Rovita, INA, def. Karishma Wadkar 21-12 21-11;

Quarter finals: Chia Hsin Lee (6), TPE, def. P C Thulasi (4) 21-14 21-18; Febby Angguni (1), INA, def. Saili Rane (5) 21-8 21-13.

Mixed doubles (Quarter finals): Kona Tarun and Ashwini Ponnappa (1) def. Tien Tzu Chieh and Ching Hui Chang, TPE, 21-14 21-17; Pranaav Jerry Chopra and K Maneesha (4) def. Chee Tean Tan and Shevon Jemie Lai, MAS, 21-15 21-16; Akshay Dewalkar and Pradnya Gadre (3) def. K Nandagopal and N Siki Reddy 21-10 21-17; Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan (2) def. Ko-Chi Chang and Hsin Tien Chang, TPE, 21-18 21-13.