New Delhi: Kidambi Srikanth remained on course for a second title by entering the final while PV Sindhu went down fighting in the semi-finals at the Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2019, a BWF World Tour Super 500 tournament, here on Saturday. The 2015 men’s singles champion was made to work hard by the 30th ranked Huang Yuxiang before he could pull off a gritty 16-21, 21-14, 21-19 win in 1 hour 4 minutes.
Srikanth set up a rematch of 2015 final with the 2017 champion Viktor Axelsen, who staved off a late resistance from Parupalli Kashyap for a 21-11, 21-17 win.The 2017 women’s singles winner Sindhu squandered five game points in the first game to succumb to a 21-23, 18-21 defeat to the third-seeded He Bingjiao. With her aggressive game doing most of the talking and her anticipation skills looking spot-on, Sindhu looked sharp in the initial stages of her 14th meeting with Bingjiao, racing ahead to 15-11.
However, the determined Chinese was still able to come back by taking control of the frontcourt and exploiting the Indian’s movement. Saving four-game points at 16-20 and another one at 20-21, the World No. 7 eked out the first game 23-21. Sindhu once more had a 15-12 advantage in Game 2 but a poised Bingjiao came storming back to wrest away the momentum and inch ahead to 19-18 before wrapping up the win.
“After losing the first game I was a bit nervous. I came back and could’ve maintained the 14-11 lead, but she played really well. I could’ve been much more patient,” said Sindhu after the match. Srikanth was troubled early on by Yuxiang’s speed, quick change of direction and superior net play. From 14-14, the Chinese went up to 19-14 due to unforced errors from the home hope. Srikanth did save a couple of game points but his effort fell short as Yuxiang wrapped up the opener 21-16.
Amid deafening cheers from the crowd, the World No. 7 started showing flashes of his aggression in the early part of the second game. By regularly finding the lines, the India No. 1 held on to go up to 13-6 and kept up the same approach to close out the second game 21-14.
Thailand’s former world champion Ratchanok Intanon survived a tough duel with the seventh seed Han Yue, eking out a 21-15, 19-21, 21-18 win in 1 hour 6 minutes. For the highly popular Thai, this is her fourth final at this prestigious tournament after earlier wins in 2013 and 2016. The women’s doubles section witnessed a mini-upset as the third seeds Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean beat the second seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai 18-21, 21-19, 21-19.