Prannoy into India Open final

Top seed H S Prannoy will face off against fourth seed R M V Gurusaidutt in the Tata Open India International Challenge badminton tournament.

The duo made it to the final after both managed straight-game victories in their semi-finals. Prannoy defeated sixth seed Ajay Jayaram 21-13 23-21 in 36 minutes; while Gurusaidutt eased past unseeded Akshit Mahajan 21-11 21-11.

The women's finals will feature 17-year-old Ruthvika Shivani Gadde after her 21-19 21-18 upset over third seed Salil Rane. She will take on fourth seed Arundhati Pantawane in the final. Pantawane, the reigning National Games champion, defeated top seed P C Thulasi 21-9 21-15 in their semi-final.

Earlier this week Prannoy revealed how winning the Indonesia Open in September helped his confidence. He said: "After Indonesia, the whole scenario changed. I realised I had to play more tournaments. And I know I want to stay in the top 25 this year. That way, I can play the All England Championships and other top tournaments next year." 

This year's India Open featured few top players, with India's top players opting to skip the tournament. Among those missing from the Mumbai tournament were world number eight Kidambi Srikanth, world number four Saina Nehwal and number 11 PV Sindhu.

Prakash Padukone, the former world No.1 and founder of the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, explained that attendance is expected to be better in 2015.

He said: "Next year being the Olympic qualifying year, the Olympic qualification starts on May 1, 2015. We will have very good participation. Players will participate in as many tournaments as possible to qualify for the Olympics. Participation for next year will be very good."

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