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Thailand Open quarterfinals: Saina, Srikanth crashes out; Sai Praneeth enters QFs

Seventh seed Saina, who returned to action after nearly two months, squandered a game advantage to lose 21-16 11-21 14-21 against unseeded Sayaka Takahashi of Japan in a women’s singles second round duel that lasted 48 minutes.

In the absence of PV Sindhu, who withdrew in the last minute from the event, Saina’s ouster marks the end of India’s campaign in women’s singles.

Later, fifth seed Srikanth too wasted a game’s lead to bow out against less-fancied Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand 21-11 16-21 12-21 in the second round of the men’s singles.

To add to India’s woes, unseeded Parupalli Kashyap was no match for third seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, losing 9-21 14-21 in just 33 minutes.

But Sai Praneeth, who reached the semifinals of Japan Open last week, continued his good form and stormed into the last-eight round with a comfortable 21-18 21-19 win over compatriot Shubhankar Dey.

Sai Praneeth will be up against seventh seed Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in the next round. However, it was good news for India in the men’s doubles event as the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty moved into the quarterfinals after registering a straight-game 21-17 21-19 win over Indonesian combination of Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto.

The India duo will next play qualifiers Choi Solgyu and Seo Seung Jae of Korea on Friday.

In mixed doubles too, the Indians had a forgettable outing on Thursday as the pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy lost 16-21 11-21 against eight seeds Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suetof Hong Kong to bow out of the tournament.

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