Orleans Masters: Saina loses; Krishna-Vishnu enter final

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal lost in straight games. File photo: IANS

Paris: Saina Nehwal bowed out in straight games in the women's singles semifinals but unheralded duo of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnu Vardhan Goud Panjala kept India in the title hunt by storming into men's doubles final at the Orleans Masters here on Saturday.

London Olympic bronze medallist Saina lost 17-21, 17-21 to Denmark's Line Christophersen in 28 minutes, while the duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also faltered 18-21, 9-21 to top-seeded Thai pair of Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai in the semifinals.

Later, Ashwini and Dhruv Kapila went down fighting to Niclas Nohr and Amalie Magelund in the mixed doubles semifinals. The Danes won 21-9, 21-23, 21-7.

However, Krishna and Vishnu cheered up the Indian camp with a 21-17, 21-17 win over English pair of Callum Hemming and Steven Stallwood in a 35-minute semifinal clash to reach their maiden Super 100 event final.

The Indian duo, playing their first event together this year, will take on either Indonesian pair of Sabar Karyaman Gutama and Moh Reza Pahlevi Isfahani or fourth-seeded English combination of Ben Lane and Sean Vendy in the title clash on Sunday.

Krishna and Vishnu had a slender 4-2 lead early on, but the English pair soon jumped to an 11-8 lead at the break. However, the Indians soon caught up at 13-13 and marched on to seal the opening game.

In the second game, Krishna and Vishnu slowly moved ahead to an 11-7 advantage at the interval and even though their rivals narrowed down the gap to 15-17, the Indian duo ensured there was no hiccups.

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