Australian Open: Indian shuttlers Srikanth in semi-final; P.V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal crash out

Jun 23, 2017, 21:40 IST | PTI

Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth entered the men's singles semi-finals while the star duo of P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal crashed out of the women's singles quarter-finals at the $750,000 Australia Open Superseries badminton tournament here on Friday

Kidambi Srikanth in semis, P.V. Sindhu crashes out of Australian Open
Kidambi Srikanth and PV Sindhu


Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth entered the men's singles semi-finals while the star duo of P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal crashed out of the women's singles quarter-finals at the $750,000 Australia Open Superseries badminton tournament here on Friday.

Continuing his fine run, recently-crowned Indonesia Open champion Srikanth defeated fellow Indian shuttler B. Sai Praneeth in the men's singles quarter-finals.

Srikanth, who was in his third quarter-finals in the last five tournaments that he has participated in, made it to the semi-finals with a 25-23, 21-17 win in a match that lasted for 43 minutes.

Later in the day, P.V. Sindhu lost her quarter-finals match to World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.

Sindhu won the first game before Tai staged a strong comeback to register a 10-21, 22-20, 21-16 verdict in the women's singles clash which lasted for about an hour.

Saina Nehwal went down to sixth-seeded Sun Yu of China after another tough three-game battle.

The Chinese shuttler beat Saina 21-17, 10-21, 21-17 in a match that lasted for an hour and 19 minutes.

Praneeth, who defeated Srikanth in the Singapore Open final in April, started Friday's first game on a strong note, opening up a healthy lead of 9-6.

But Srikanth fought back to make it 10-10 and went into the break with a slight advantage of 11-10.

The two were neck-and-neck from there but at 13-13, before Praneeth took three straight points to make it 16-13 but Srikanth turned his A game right then to win five straight points to make it 18-16.

Srikanth then raced to 20-17 but Praneeth clawed back to win four points on the trot to make it 21-20. From there, an intense battle started as both the Indians saved two game points each, which saw Srikanth pocketing the game 25-23.

In the second game, Srikanth maintained a strong lead making it 9-6 before Praneeth managed three points in a row to equalise at 9-9. However, he could not hold the higher-ranked player as Srikanth extended his lead to 11-9 at the break.

Srikanth then went on to extend his lead to 16-12 before Praneeth came from behind and made it 16-16. Towards the end, Srikanth used all his experience to comfortably win the tie 21-17.

Srikanth will play the winner of the second quarter-final match between Shi Yuqi of China and Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.

In the women's singles, Sindhu gave a good account of herself agaiunst the World No.1 from Chinese Taipei. The top seeded Tai improved her head to head record against the World No.4 Sindhu to 7-3.

In the opening game, Tai had no response to Sindhu's smashes as the Rio Olympics silver medallist dominated the proceedings to pocket it easily.

Tai, however, made a strong comeback in the second game, taking a 4-1 lead, before Sindhu clawed her way back to 8-8.

It was a neck and neck battle at that time, and Sindhu then took a 13-10 lead, before Tai won four points on the trot to take a 14-13 lead which she extended further to 18-14.

Sindhu made a critical error at that stage where she allowed Tai to save the match point, and take the game into the decider with a 22-20 win.

The final game was again a close contest with both players trying to outwit each other. While Sindhu raced to a 14-10 lead, Tai kept her nerves to stage a comeback and make it 15-15.

Towards the end, the Chinese Taipei shuttler dominated proceeding before pocketing the third game 21-16.

Later, Sindhu's compatriot Saina's also lost crashed out of the quarter-finals following a loss to Sun Yu of China.

Sun Yu dominated the opening game, taking a 8-4 lead before extending it further to 11-9 at the break. Saina, however, made a strong comeback after the break and went ahead 15-13 before Sun Yu gained eight straight points to pocket the game.

In the second game, Saina surged ahead taking six straight points to lead 7-3 and went to the break at 11-4. Coming back, the Hyderabadi never allowed the Chinese to settle and extended her lead to 18-10 and easily winning it 21-10.

The decider witnessed fierce battle between the two shuttlers splitting at 4-4 and then going neck and neck till 9-9 before Saina took the lead at 11-9.

Post the break, Sun Yu took three points in a row to make it 12-12 and then went ahead with six straight points to make it 19-15. She kept her nerves and didn't allow the Indian free her arms to run away with the match 21-17.

Sun Yu will now take on Nozomi Okuhara, who beat fellow Japanese Sayaka Takahashi in another quarter-final tie.

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