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Badminton: Lee moves into India Open semi-finals


World number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia stormed into the men's singles semi-finals of the India Open badminton tournament with a 21-14, 21-19 victory over India's H.S. Prannoy in New Delhi on Friday.

The Malaysian will now take on Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana, who defeated V. Gurusaidutt of India 21-12, 11-21, 21-12 in the other quarter-final.

Top-seeded Lee, who clinched the opening game comfortably, faced some anxious moments in the second when he trailed 18-12 before asserting his supremacy in the 34-minute encounter.

"He (Prannoy) was good in the second game and played some attacking shots. I made a few mistakes here and there, but in the end it was a good win," said Lee.

Prannoy, who beat Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia on Thursday, said it was a good learning experience for him.

"It's a very good exposure, playing Taufik Hidayat one day and Lee Chong Wei the next. I learnt a lot," he said.

"I may have lost the match, but it's a great learning experience for me."

The other men's singles semi-finalists were sixth-seeded Japanese Kenichi Tago and Anand Pawar of India.

The Japanese overcame India's Sai Praneeth 21-17, 19-21, 21-11, while Pawar downed compatriot Ajay Jayaram 21-6, 21-16.

Indian teenager P.V. Sindhu, seeded eighth, moved into the women's singles semi-finals with a 21-16, 21-16 victory over Japan's Yui Hashimoto.

"I had to be prepared for long rallies as she is a very strong player," Sindhu said after the 47-minute match.

"I was getting a lot of my strokes in, so I am very happy with the way I played."

Sindhu, 17, will now clash with Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon who rallied to down Arundhati Pantawane of India 14-21, 21-7, 21-16.

The other semi-final will be contested between second-seeded German Juliane Schenk and Aprilla Yuswandari of Indonesia.

Schenk defeated fifth-seeded South Korean Bae Yeon Ju 21-17, 21-13, while Yuswandari overcame the opening-game deficit to beat Thailand's Nichaon Jindapon 18-21, 21-16, 21-18.