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Orleans Masters 2023: Priyanshu Rajawat defeats Nhat Nguyen to enter finals

India’s Priyanshu Rajawat stormed into the finals of the Orleans Masters Super 300 badminton tournament with a straight game demolition of Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen in the semifinals on Saturday.

The 21-year-old, who was part of the India team that won the 2022 Thomas Cup, dished out an attacking game to outplay the world number 35 Nguyen 21-12, 21-9 in a lop-sided men’s singles semifinals to progress to his maiden final of a super 300 world tour event.

He will face either Denmark’s Magnus Johannesen or China’s Lei Lan Xi in the summit clash.

Rajawat was sharp at the net and precise in his returns. He exploited his opponent’s forehand and the Indian’s flat drives and cross court flicks troubled Nguyen, who committed many errors.

After an initial fight, Rajawat moved into the mid-game break with a 11-9 lead. However, after resumption, he dominated the rallies to swiftly move to 17-11.

In the end, another steep return from the Indian ended in his opponent hitting out as Rajawat grabbed 10 game points and sealed it with another over-the-head precise return on his opponent’s forehand.

After the change of sides, Rajawat started on the same note as the Irish huffed and puffed across the court. The Indian produced some powerful smash from deep into the court to keep marching ahead.

At the interval, the Indian was 11-3 up, leaving his opponent in deep sea. Rajawat punished his opponent every time he erred or lifted short as points kept coming thick and fast.

Rajawat’s solid backhand and options to play many strokes helped him to wriggle out of a tight situation as Nguyen looked clueless.

The Irish, in his pursuit to corner the Indian, ended up committing far too many errors as Rajawat reached 18-3 in a jiffy.

Another short lift was disposed with a flat cross court return by Rajawat, who moved to 14 match points when his opponent went long.

Nguyen saved three match points before Rajawat unleashed another attacking return to complete the job.

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