Australian Open badminton : Srikanth beats Praneeth, Sindhu bows out in quarter finals

Srikanth in semis; Saina, Sindhu bow out of Australia Open

Recently-crowned Indonesia Open champion Kidambi Srikanth will today take on fourth seed China's Shi Yuqi in the semi-finals of the men's singles event of the Australian Open Super Series here at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre.

Srikanth won a blockbuster all-Indian quarter-final over his training partner, B Sai Praneeth, 25-23, 21-17 in 43 minutes.

However, there was disappointment in store for India in the women's singles quarters as Rio Olympics silver-medallist PV Sindhu and defending champion Saina Nehwal squandered opportunities galore to go down in their thrilling three-game matches. However, he could not hold the higher-ranked player as Srikanth extended his lead to 11-9 at the break.

In the women's singles, Sindhu looked in great form and threatened to knock out the world No.1 and top seed in the opening game. The two shuttlers battled neck and neck till 7-7 before a three-point burst saw the Indian take the lead at 10-7.

In the second game, Praneeth again had a 4-1 lead but Srikanth once again surpassed him to grab an 11-9 advantage. But like the first game, Srikanth upped the ante and streaked to 15-8 lead.

Australian Open badminton : Srikanth beats Praneeth, Sindhu bows out in quarter finals
Australian Open badminton : Srikanth beats Praneeth, Sindhu bows out in quarter finals

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

But the imperious Tai, who had her 27-match winning streak snapped last week, steadily got stronger and stronger and saved a match point at 19-20.

Srikanth had registered a straight game 21-14, 21-16 en route to the final of the tournament.

Japan's Nozomi Okuhara also made it to the last four following a 21-12, 23-21 victory over compatriot Sayaka Takahashi.

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