China Open: Saina, Srikanth in semis, Kashyap exits

Fuzhou: London Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal and male shuttler Kidambi Srikanth reached the semi-finals of the $700,000 China Open Super Series Premier as Parupalli Kashyap lost in the quarter-finals at the Haixia Olympic Sport Center here Friday.

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal 

While women's World No.5 Saina defeated Chinese Suo Di 21-13, 17-21, 21-5 in 60 minutes, men's World No.16 Srikanth stunned Japanese World No.12 Kento Momota 21-17, 23-21 in 45 minutes.

However, Commonwealth Games champion and men's World No.17 Kashyap failed against Germany's World No.25 Marc Zwiebler 21-18, 18-21, 13-21 in an hour and 13 minutes.

In the match between Saina and Suo, the Indian played positively from the start and moved quickly within the court. Utilising her experience, the 24-year-old earned eight straight points to jump to a 14-9 lead. After which it was a formality for Saina and she won 21-13.

In the second game, Suo managed to pull things back and rattled the Indian after racing to a 6-1 lead. Saina reduced the deficit to one points by getting four straight points before the momentum shifted towards the 2010 World Junior Championships bronze medal winner of China. She widened the gap by taking four points on the trot.

Trailing 9-14, Saina fought her way back and erased the deficit, displaying her class and quality till Suo again improved her game to win the game 21-17.

However, in the third game, a determined Saina conceded just five points before winning the game with a flawless and aggressive display. Surprisingly, Suo looked a pale shadow of her usual self.

In her next match, Saina will meet China's World No.17 Liu Xin, who stunned 2013 world champion and World No.6 Ratchanok Intanon 21-16, 21-9.

In the men's semi-final, Srkanth will play Zwiebler, who dropped the first game against Kashyap but came back strongly to win the next two games.

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