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India Open: Sindhu, Srikanth & Kashyap in semis

March 29, 2019 22:01 IST

P V Sindhu

IMAGE: India's P V Sindhu beat Denmark's eighth seed Mia Blichfeldt to set up a clash with China's He Bingjiao in the semi-finals of the India Open. Photograph: BAI/Twitter

Former champions P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth stayed on course to reclaim titles while a vintage Parupalli Kashyap too regained some form to seal places in the men's singles semi-finals of the US $ 350,000 India Open badminton, in Delhi, on Friday.

Sindhu, a 2017 champion and 2016 finalist, edged out Denmark's eighth seed Mia Blichfeldt 21-19, 22-20 in a closely-fought contest to set up a clash with China's He Bingjiao on Saturday.

 

"I should have finished it earlier. I made too many errors. He Bingjiao is a tricky player. I have to be more patient," Sindhu said.

Srikanth finally snapped his series of quarter-final finishes, outwitting compatriot B Sai Praneeth 21-23, 21-11, 21-19 in 62 minutes, while Kashyap entered his first semi-final of a top-tier event (World Tour Super 500 or Superseries) in almost four years, beating Chinese Taipei's Wang Tzu Wei 21-16, 21-11.

Srikanth will face China's Huang Yuxiang, while Kashyap takes on former World champion and former World No 1 Viktor Axelsen.

H S Prannoy couldn't match up with second seeded Axelsen, going down 10-21, 16-21 in a match that saw a tight second game.

Srikanth had made eight quarter-final finishes in last nine tournaments and the Indian didn't look like making progress after he lost the opening game narrowly and lagged 1-7 in the second.

But he saved five game-points, fighting back from 16-20 down, before Praneeth staved off the challenge to take the opening game.

Praneeth managed to grab a 7-1 lead to raise hopes of an upset but Srikanth came back strongly and took the match to the decider.

In the third game, the Gopichand Academy colleagues split the initial 14 points before Praneeth edged ahead to 11-8 lead. But a fighting Srikanth again drew parity at 13-13 and eventually produced those two points at 19-19 to seal a semi-final place.

"The turning point of the match was in the second game when I was 1-7 down and I fought back. From there things changed. At 19-19 in the decider it could have gone either way. But I played well in the crucial points. So happy with my performance," Srikanth said.

"I feel good. I didn't think about semifinal. I had a good draw and a good run and I am just happy. I have fitness issues but I don't know why my body is feeling at ease," said Kashyap, who had reached the final of the 2017 US Open and won the 2018 Austrian Open.

"He (Wang Tzu Wei) is a tricky player. He has good skills at the net. He takes risks and hits some good half smashes. I kept retrieving the shuttle and could attack and counter his strokes."

Men's doubles sixth seeds Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy effortlessly won an all-Indian quarter-final with Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Shivam Sharma 21-10, 21-12.

They are the last Indian pair standing at this prestigious tournament after the 10-21, 18-21 defeat of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy to top seeds Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu.

India's Aparna Balan and Sruthi KP too lost 8-21, 11-21 to second seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai.

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