Kidambi Srikanth & Tai Tzu Ying reach French Open final

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Kidambi Srikanth has been riding on a high in the 2017 season. (photo: AP)
Kidambi Srikanth has been riding on a high in the 2017 season. (photo: AP)

Paris: Men’s singles No. 8 seed Kidambi Srikanth clawed back twice from the brink of defeat to beat teammate H. S. Prannoy in a three-set thriller and progressed to the French Open final on Saturday.

Srikanth once again showed his stamina and ability to take the match deep by coming from a set down to beat Prannoy 14-21, 21-19, 21-18 in a 62 minutes encounter. He will play his fifth Superseries final and could possibly pick up his fourth Superseries title on Sunday against Kenta Nishimoto of Japan.

The unseeded Kenta Nishimoto was in scintillating form as he brought Denmark player – Anders Antonsen’s winning run to halt, seeing off the Dane 21-17, 21-15 in the other semifinal.

After the match, Srikanth credited the change of his badminton mindset brought by his new Indonesian coach Mulyo Handoyo.

“It is the kind of mindset we have these days, I am not really scared of longer matches and that gives me the edge over any players,” said Srikanth about the contribution of Mulyo Handoyo.

“If you play against few Chinese players, you have to be ready to play longer matches. Now we are ready to play that. I think we are physically much stronger than any of the players,” added Srikanth.

In women’s competition, No. 1 seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan sized up a big test at the French Open semifinals after she fought off spirited No. 7 seeds He Bingjiao of China 21-14, 17-21, 21-8 to set up a final against No. 4 seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan.

After losing to Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand last Sunday, Yamaguchi made her second successive Superseries finals in two weeks after she battled past No. 2 seed P.V. Sindhu of India 21-14, 21-9 in the $325,000 event on Saturday.

In men’s doubles, No. 7 seeds Lee Jhe-huei/Lee Yang of Taiwan pulled off a huge upset by beating reigning World Champions and last week’s Denmark Open champions Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan 19-21, 21-13, 21-19 to set up a final clash with No. 2 seeds Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen of Denmark.

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