World No 15 Porntip Buranaprasert reaffirmed her dominance over Nozomi Okuhara of Japan yesterday with a 13-21 21-17 21-17 win to reach the women's singles semi-finals of the SCG Thailand Open Badminton Championships.
Porntip, who beat Okuhara in three games 12 months ago here, rebounded from a sluggish start to win the quarter-final in 53 minutes, roared on by a 1,000-strong crowd at Chulalongkorn University Sports Complex.
"I hit too close to her and she didn't have to move much in the first game. Then I changed my game, taking more risks and going for my shots on both wings to break her momentum. The longer I played the more confident I became,'' said the Chula student.
Porntip will take on top seed Saina Nehwal of India who dashed the hopes of local rising star Sapsiree Taerattanachai, 21-10 22-20. The Thai No 2 needs to snap a 0-3 losing streak against the Indian.
"She is a tough player. We play a similar game but she is quite persistent. I have to stay with her in the rallies and be very patient,'' said Pornthip.
In other women's action, Lin Wang picked off Sun Yu 18-21 21-13 21-12 in an all-Chinese showdown. She will play either second seed and Thai No 1 Ratchanok Inthanon or seventh-seeded Minatsu Mitani of Japan in today's semi-finals.
In the mixed doubles, Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam needed just 33 minutes to beat Po Jui Huang and Chia Wen Lai of Taiwan 21-14 21-18. Sudket, determined to capture their first home title together after finishing runners-up twice, employed his signature acrobatic jumping smashes to subdue the Taiwanese.
"It was very tight at the end and I felt under pressure. We tried to keep the serves in and be solid because we didn't want to lose the second game,'' said Saralee who teamed up with Lam Narissapat to play Eto Rie and Yu Wakita of Japan in the women's doubles quarter-finals last night.
In the women's doubles, Duanganong Aroonkesorn and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul toppled Imawan Gebby Ristiyani and Nuraidah Tiara Rosalia of Indonesia 21-18 24-22.
In the men's singles third round completed late on Thursday night, Thai No 1 Boonsak Ponsana paid the price for untypical unforced errors and was beaten 21-18 21-19 by Taiwan's Shih Kuei Chun.