India Open: Kidambi Srikanth, PV Sindhu enter semi-finals

New Delhi: Former champions PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the semi-finals of the India Open badminton tournament at the KD Jadhav Hall, Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Friday. The 2017 champion Sindhu took home the match without dropping a game at 21-19, 22-20 to defeat Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark and book her semi-final berth against He Bingjiao of China in the women’s singles.

Sindhu took on the attack as she extended her lead 11-10 over Blichfeldt and then edged closer 18-16 to seal the first game. After securing a nervy first game at 21-19, Sindhu carried the momentum to take an early 4-2 lead in the second game. Olympic silver medallist Sindhu did not stop as she raced towards the victory and sealed the game at 22-20.

Srikanth, who clinched the title in 2015, triumphed in a cliffhanger 21-23, 21-11, 21-19 over compatriot Sai Praneeth in the men’s singles event. The world number seven Srikanth will next meet Huang Yuxiang of China in the semi-final.

The Indian players started the neck-to-neck game with the score tied at 5-5 in the first game. Praneeth raced to a 19-15 and edged closer to take the set but Srikanth roared back and forced a deuce to tie the score 20-20. However, Praneeth prevailed in the clutch time and took the first game with 23-21. In the second game, Srikanth gave no chance to Praneeth as he took an 11-9 lead and carried his momentum to take the game 21-11 with his strong performance.

Praneeth made a comeback in the decider as he took an 11-8 lead but Srikanth again came from behind to tie the score at 16-16 and then took four points at a stretch to seal the game 21-19 in his favour. Parupalli Kashyap played like a panther and outclassed Wang Tzu-Wei of Taipei in straight games 21-16, 21-11 in men’s singles event, while Prannoy HS crashed out after going down 10-21, 16-21 against world number four Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

Kashyap will clash with Axelsen in the semi-final on Saturday. Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy edged past Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Shivam Sharma 21-10, 21-12 to set up a semi-final clash with Ricky Karanda Suwardi and Angga Pratama of Indonesia in the men’s doubles event. In women’s doubles event, the pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy lost 10-21, 18-21 to Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu of Indonesia, while Aparna Balan and Sruthi faced a straight-game defeat 8-21, 11-21 against Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand.

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