NEW DELHI, March 29: Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap raised hopes of an Indian win after progressing to the men’s singles semifinals at $350,000 India Open on Friday.
Srikanth finally snapped his series of quarterfinal finishes, outwitting compatriot B Sai Praneeth 21-23, 21-11, 21-19 in a 62 minutes duel, while Kashyap entered his
first semifinals of a top-tier event (World Tour Super 500 or Super Series) in almost four years, beating Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei 21-16, 21-11 in another quarterfinal clash.
Srikanth will take on China’s Huang Yuxiang in the last-four while Kashyap will be up against Viktor Axelsen of Denmark. The second seed Axelsen recorded straight games 21-10, 21-16 victory over HS Prannoy in the quarters.
Srikanth had made eight quarterfinal finishes in last nine tournaments and the Indian didn’t look to make the last eight after he lost the opening game narrowly and lagged 1-7 in the second.
But a gritty Srikanth saved five game points after fighting back from 16-20 down before Praneeth staved off the challenge to take the opening game.
Praneeth managed to grab a 7-1 lead to raise hopes of an upset but Srikanth came back strongly and took the match to the decider. (PTI)