Srikanth, Sindhu going great guns

Srikanth, Sindhu going great guns

Top Indian players enter semifinals of Korea Open

Suncheon: Top Indian shuttlers P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth progressed to the semifinals of the Korea Open Super 500 badminton tournament with contrasting wins here on Friday. Third seed Sindhu, a two-time Olympic medallist, notched up her 17th win over familiar foe Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-10 21-16 in the women's singles quarterfinals. She will next face second seeded Korean An Seyoung, a opponent who has beaten her twice last year. In a battle between two former world number ones, it was World Championships silver medallist Srikanth, who rode on his power and precision to outwit local hope Son Wan Ho 21-12 18-21 21-12 in a men's singles quarterfinal match that lasted just over an hour.

Srikanth had a 4-7 record against the Korean, having lost to him on last three occasions. However, the Indian played better badminton on Friday to come up trumps against an opponent, who is coming back to international badminton after a two-year hiatus. The Indian, seeded fifth, will next face third seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia, who had claimed the Swiss Open last month. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty failed to make it to the semifinal after going down fighting 20-22 21-18 20-22 to Korean pairing of Kang Minhyuk and Seo Seungjae.

In women's singles, Sindhu had no issues in disposing off Busanan, whom she had beaten at Swiss Open final last month. The Thai lead 5-2 in the opening game but after that it was a Sindhu show as she kept the match under her tight grip.

Leading 11-7, Sindhu produced an eight-point burst to pull away from the Thai and grab the lead in the match. Things were similar after the change of sides as Sindhu held a 8-2 lead and kept moving ahead as the Thai crumbled. In men's singles, Srikanth showed better control as he dominated the short rallies to move to a comfortable 11-6 lead at the first interval and though Son Wan Ho made it 12-14, the Indian soon changed gears to walk away with the first game. The Korean came back strongly in the second game, opening up a 10-7 lead but Srikanth moved ahead to 13-11. An alert Son Wan Ho didn't let the game slip away and soon charged ahead to take it to the decider.

Srikanth made a rollicking 4-0 start in the decider but unforced errors allowed the Korean to make it 4-6. The Indian changed the pace with some quick attacking returns and his precision earned him returns. Srikanth managed a 11-7 lead at the interval. A barrage of attacking shots kept Srikanth in the hunt as he extended his lead to 16-10. A precision return eventually got him to eight match points and he sealed it when Son Won Ho hit the net.

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