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Saina, Srikanth storm into semis

Saina, Srikanth storm into semis
Five-time world champion Lin Dan also made a stunning exit from the tournament as world number 10 Tommy Sugiarto beat him 21-17, 15-21, 21-17 in the men’s singles at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here.

Olympic bronze medallist, Saina sailed past Indonesia’s Hana Ramadhini 21-15, 21-12 in the women’s singles competition to stay just one win away from becoming the first Indian woman to achieve the world number one ranking. In men’s singles, world number four Srikanth outwitted Japan’s Takuma Ueda 21-15, 23-25, 21-18 in a hard-fought battle that lasted an hour and 19 minutes. Prannoy, who had sent the top seed and world number two Jan Jorgensen of Denmark packing, also conjured up hopes of another upset before falling short against world number six Viktor Axelsen 21-16, 9-21, 18-21.

The reigning China Super Series premier champions, Saina and Srikanth, will next take on Japan’s Yui Hashimoto and China’s Xue Song, respectively, in the semifinals on Saturday. Saina led 10-6 early on but Hana blasted off four straight points to catch up with the Indian. However, Saina slowly increased the gap with her rival to eventually win the first game. The Indian dished out a better game in the second, as she entered the break with a healthy 11-4 lead and capitalized on the advantage as her opponent crumbled. Up against a familiar foe, Takuma, whom he had beaten at Swiss Open earlier this month, Srikanth dished out another superb performance.

The lad from Guntur registered five straight games after enjoying a narrow 7-5 lead to zoom ahead. Takuma narrowed down the lead to 11-14 but Srikanth held his fort. The second game was a rollercoaster ride as Srikanth fought back from 5-12 down to draw parity at 20-all but the Japanese still managed to eke out a win to bounce back in the contest.  In the decider, Srikanth broke off from 5-5 to lead 15-9. Takuma, however, managed to claw his back to 18-19 but the Indian had the last laugh.

 After plotting an early exit for Jorgensen, Prannoy was up against yet another Dane and he used his backhand and powerful smashes to dominate but Viktor came back strongly and didn’t allow the Indian to play his game.
PTI

PTI

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