Sai Praneeth no match for world No. 1 Kento Momota in men's semi-final.
P V Sindhu is one win away from an elusive World Championships gold medal. The 24-year-old from Hyderabad romped to her third successive final with a straight-games’ victory over All England champion Chen Yu Fei, in Basel, on Saturday.
The Indian badminton ace, who won successive silver medals in the last two editions of the prestigious tournament, besides two bronze earlier, proved too good for the world No. 3 Chinese, winning her semi-final 21-7 21-14 in 40 minutes.
She will face either 2013 World champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand or 2017 winner Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the summit clash on Sunday.
Later in the day, B Sai Praneeth failed to live up to the promise shown in the quarter-finals and went down tamely world No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan 21-13, 21-8 in the men’s singles semi-finals.
The 19th ranked Praneeth, the first Indian male shuttler in 36 years to secure a medal in the World Badminton Championships after a straight-games victory over Indonesia's Jonatan Christie in the quarter-finals on Friday, was overawed by the guile and finesse of the Japanese. Once Momota seized the early initiative there nothing he could do to stop him.
Rio Olympics silver medallist Sindhu, who went into the match with a 5-3 head-to-head record against Chen, grabbed the initiative early and dished out a compact game, producing angled returns to push Chen to the corners. Sindhu retrieved well and punished weak returns from her opponent to dominate the rallies.
She went into the first break with a 11-3 lead after the Chinese hit wide.
Chen continued to find the going tough as she missed the lines, allowing the Indian to gather points at will.
Another weak return at the net by Chen gave Sindhu as many as 14 game points before she sealed the opening game on her second attempt.
Chen had a better start in the second game and the scores ran neck-and-neck till 3-3. However, the errors again crept into Chen’s game, allowing Sindhu to into the breather 11-7 ahead.
Chen committed too many unforced errors in desperation to score as Sindhu raced to 17-9 lead in a jiffy.
Sindhu eventually had eight match points after a cross-court smash. Chen saved a couple before hitting long again as Sindhu celebrated.