Pulling off stunning upsets, Smit Toshniwal and Unnati Hooda set up
the women’s title-clash in the $75,000 Odisha Open badminton tournament at Cuttack on Saturday.
Smit knocked out Ashmita Chaliha, seeded five, 21-19, 10-21, 21-17 after Unnati surprised Malvika Bansod 24-22, 24-22.
For the men’s title, Priyanshu Rajawat will play Kiran George.
Trailing 14-19, Smit reeled off seven straight points to close the opening game. Ashmita responded by breaking away from 9-8 and winning the final six points of the second game. In the decider, Smit came back from 0-5 and 15-17 to win the last six points and reached the final.
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Earlier, from 7-15, Malvika made it 17-16 and even went on to hold a
game-point at 22-21. But Unnati stayed calm to convert her third
In the second game, Malvika rallied from 5-14 to lead 20-18. Unnati
made it 20-all and saved a third game-point. She finally converted her
second match-point for a memorable triumph.
Priyanshu dismissed Kaushal Dharmamer in straight games. Kiran proved
stronger after dropping the first game to Ansal Yadav.
The results (semifinals):
Men singles: Priyanshu Rajawat bt Kaushal Dharmamer 21-17, 21-14;
Kiran George bt Ansal Yadav 19-21, 21-12, 21-14.
Women singles: Smit Toshniwal bt Ashmita Chaliha 21-19, 10-21, 21-17; Unnati Hooda bt Malvika Bansod 24-22, 24-22.