The Indian juggernaut in men’s badminton continued to roll with former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Parupalli Kashyap setting up a title clash with HS Prannoy at the USD 120,000 US Open Grand Prix Gold here.
After limping out of the court with a calf injury in October 2015, it was the first final for Kashyap in 21 months, while Prannoy, who has always been plagued by injuries,also reached his first summit clash after clinching the Swiss Open last year.
Kashyap eked out a hard-fought 15-21 21-15 21-16 win over Korean Kwang Hee Heo in the second semifinal which lasted an hour and six minutes.
Prannoy, on the other hand, notched up a 21-14 21-19 win over Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen in the first semi-final.
It will be the second time this season that two Indians will fight it out for the title at international badminton.
In April, K Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth had played in the finals of Singapore Open with the latter claiming his maiden Super Series title.
Men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy fought hard before going down 12-21 21-12 20-22 to top seeds Lu Ching Yao and Yang Po Han.
“It is good to reach a final after a long time. It was a tough match against the Korean. He had started really well and I took time to adjust to the conditions today as it was little slow. He was really patient and he was hitting hard smashes. But slowly I got a good rhythm and eventually I could pull off,” Kashyap told PTI.
“I think it was a difficult tournament to start with as the opening round was also against a player I had always had close matches. I had played him 5-6 times and I was good to win in the first round. Also playing against Sameer was tough. He is a tricky player and it has always been close matches with him. Really looking forward to the final,” he added.
It will be third Grand Prix Gold title for Indian men’s shuttlers after Sameer and Praneeth clinched the Syed Modi International and Thailand Open respectively. Indian men also won three super series titles with Srikanth clinching the Indonesia and Australia Open and Praneeth winning at Singapore. (PTI)