New Delhi: For few moments in the third set, there were good chances for Malaysia’s unseeded Iskandar Zulkarnain to beat No. 4 seed Shi Yuqi of China in the India Open semi-finals when Zulkarnain was leading 10-5, 16-12 in the third set. However, late surge from Shi helped him edged past Zulkarnain 21-18, 10-21, 21-19 in a 69 minutes battle.
When Shi was leading at 20-18, Zulkarnain simply refused to give up despite the Malaysian was on the brink of elimination. Zulkarnain produced 5 incredible dives from left, right and the front court to eventually earned one point to narrow the gap at 19-20. Shi scored the match point and fell on his knees in celebration after a misjudgment from Zulkarnain on the right baseline that he thought the shuttlecock was out of bound but in fact it was in bound.
Shi will take on No. 3 seed Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan in the men’s singles final on Sunday.
The World No. 7 Taiwanese player Chou Tien-Chen was made to work for his place in the final after Chou overcame slow start in both set to battle past unseeded Qiao Bin of China 23-21, 21-16 in 59 minutes.
In an all-Indonesian men’s doubles semi-finals, No. 1 seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo saw off the newly reunited pair and former World Champions Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan 21-11, 21-16 to set up the final meeting with No. 4 seeds Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark.
The women’s singles No. 1 seed and defending champion PV Sindhu of India progressed to the India Open by beating No. 3 seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 21-13, 21-15. Sindhu will play No. 5 seed Zhang Beiwen from USA. Zhang proved she was the more fancied player going into the decider and her class shone through as she outplayed No. 6 seed Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong 14-21, 21-12, 21-19 in the semi-finals.
The 2018 India Open is a Badminton World Federation World Tour Super 500 event that offered a total prize of US$350,000.