Australian Open: Srikanth reaches semis, Saina and Sindhu crash out

Recently-crowned Indonesia Open champion Kidambi Srikanth, defeated fellow Indian shuttler B. Sai Praneeth to qualify for the semifinals, while P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal could not get past their respective opponents in the quarterfinals.

Srikanth, who was in his third quarterfinal in the last five tournaments that he has participated in, made it to the semifinal with a 25-23, 21-17 win in a match that lasted 43 minutes.   -  Getty Images

In a double blow to India's medal prospects in the women's singles category, P. V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal were knocked out of the Australian Open Super Series in the quarterfinal.

Sindhu made a spectacular start to her last-eight clash, leading Tzu Ying 21-16 after the first game. However, she failed to continue the momentum and went down to lose 21-10, 20-22, 16-21 against the World No.1.

Saina went down 21—17, 10—21, 21—17 to sixth-seeded Sun Yu of China, in a match that lasted for an hour and 19 minutes.

Continuing his fine run, recently-crowned Indonesia Open champion Kidambi Srikanth on Friday defeated fellow Indian shuttler B. Sai Praneeth in a men’s singles quarterfinal match of the $750,000 Australia Open Superseries here.

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

Praneeth, who defeated Srikanth in the Singapore Open final in April, on Friday started the first game on a strong note, opening 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, with the scores tied at 13-13. Praneeth took three straight points to make it 16-13 but Srikanth brought 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 finally pocketing the game at 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 Srikanth as he 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 quarterfinal match between Shi Yuqi of China and Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.

In the other women’s singles clash, India’s Saina Nehwal will look to book her place in the semifinals when she takes on sixth seed Sun Yu, later on Friday