Australian Open: Srikanth beats Praneeth, reachs semis
New Delhi : 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 quarter-final match of the $750,000 Australia Open Superseries here.
Srikanth, who was in his third quarter-final in the last five tournaments that he has participated in, made it to the semi-finals with a 25-23, 21-17 win in a match that lasted for 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 from there but at 13-13, before Praneeth took three straight points to make it 16-13 but Srikanth turned 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 pocketing the game 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 player as Srikanth 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 quarter-final match between Shi Yuqi of China and Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.