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Jwala-Ashwini reaches semifinals of Canada Open

Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa

Calgary (Canada): Commonwealth Games silver medallist pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa emerged as the lone Indian survivors at the Canada Open after reaching the semifinals of the USD 50,000 Grand Prix badminton tournament here.

The 2011 World Championship bronze medallists notched up a 21-19 21-13 win over Hong Kong    combo of Chan Kaka Tsz Ka Yuen Sin Ying in women’s doubles competition at the Markin MacPhail Centre.

The third seeds 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 quarterfinals in the men’s singles event, while 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 silver medallist at Olympics 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 semifinals.

Ninth seed Jayaram, meanwhile, lost to top seed Marc Zwiebler of Germany 16-21 15-21 in another quarterfinal 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.

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