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U.S. Open: Kanetkar Of India Squeezes Into Finals

** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by YANG YANG Badminton Products and their Ontario (Canada) agents - SHAH Enterprises **

September 11, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Nikhil Kanetkar of India squeezed past Luo Xilin of China in one of yesterday's semifinal matches at the U.S. Open badminton championships in Orange, California and booked a spot in today's men's singles championship match against top-seed Colin Haughton of England. In what was the top candidate for match of the day, Kanetkar came from one set down to finally edge Luo in a third game tiebreak 17-15. Luo had taken the first 15-8 and Kanetkar had captured the second by the same score.

In the other men's singles semifinal, Houghton turned back a strong challenge from Belgian Ruud Kuijten 15-6, 8-15 and 15-12.

The last two surviving American entries made their exits yesterday.

In one of the men's doubles semifinals, Alex Liang, a former Chinese national team player who now resides in the United States, and partner Ben Wu had an excellent start against Michael Lamp and Jonas Rasmussen of Denmark. The Chinese-American duo took the first game 15-9. However, they were not able to keep up the pace against the Danish pair and were beaten in the second and third games 15-5 and 15-7.

James Anderson and Graham Hurrel of England won the other men's doubles semifinal. They beat Ove Svejstrup and Joachim Fisher-Nielsen of Denmark 15-8 and 15-14.

In mixed doubles, Americans Andy Chong and Yeping Tang lost to Michael Lamp and Pernille Harder of Denmark 15-8 and 15-6.

In today's final, Lamp and Harder will face off against another Danish pair, Jonas Rasmussen and Jane Bramsen. Rasmussen and Bramsen beat Michael Beres and Kara Solmunson of Canada 15-6 and 15-1 in their semifinal match.

China's Wu Huimin and Pi Hongyan showed that they were a cut above the other women's singles entries yesterday. In their semifinal matches, Wu breezed past Irina Rusljakova of Russia 11-1 and 11-5, and Pi waltzed past Tine Rasmussen of Denmark 11-4 and 11-3.

Women's doubles top seeds Robbyn Hermitage and Milaine Cloutier of Canada are the only North Americans left in the running for a title. They bested England's Tracy Dineen and Lorraine Cole 15-10 and 15-1 in their final four contest. However, they have their hands full in the championship match against a world-class pair from China, Huang Nanyan and Lu Ying.

Huang and Lu booked their finals berth with a 17-16 and 15-6 semifinal victory over Pernille Harder and Jane Bramsen of Denmark.


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