New Delhi: Men’s singles No. 2 seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark battled to a 21-10, 21-16 win over H.S. Prannoy of India in the India Open quarter-finals on Friday. Axelsen will take on another Indian player, Parupalli Kashyap in the final four.
On the other hand, the No. 2 seed Kidambi Srikanth, another big favorite of winning the tournament, roared past his fellow countryman B. Sai Praneeth 21-23, 21-11, 21-19 in 62 minutes.
“After fighting back from 1-7 down in the second game, that really boosted my confident,” said Srikanth.
“In the decider, when were are at 19-19, the match could have gone either way. Fortunately, I was calm and was able to finish the game,” added Srikanth.
The World No. 7 player will take on China’s Huang Yuxiang on Saturday.
In women’s doubles, No. 3 seeds Chow Mei Kuan/Lee Meng Yean became the sole Malaysian representatives in the tournament after the pair eased past No. 8 seeds Chayanit Chaladchalam/Phataimas Muenwong 21-14, 21-12 on Friday. They will face another Thai pair, the No. 2 seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai next.
“We played really well today. We will take on the Thailand pair tomorrow, and it’s not going to be easy,” said Lee.
Chow Mei Kuan/Lee Meng Yean, who are currently ranked 17th in the world, admitted that their India Open semi-final results will served as confident booster ahead of the Malaysian Open next week.
“I think this is a good start for us, because there will be a 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualification this year,” added Lee.
Meanwhile, India’s PV Sindhu survived a tough battle by escaping the challenge from No. 8 seeds Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark 21-19, 22-20 to set up a Saturday clash with China’s He Bingjiao. He, on the other hand, beat the defending champion Zhang Beiwen of USA 21-18, 26-24 in the women’s singles semi-final.
Another women’s singles semi-final battle will be between China’s No. 7 seed Han Yue and No. 4 seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand.