History has been made at French Open Super Series as two Indian male shuttlers book their spot in the semis of French Open Super Series for the very first time.
India’s biggest smash-hitters Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy will go head-to-head for a place in the finals in what will be yet another delicious all-India clash.
Happily, for Indian coaches and head coach Pullela Gopichand, no one will take the coach’s chairs at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin as the two boys will be expected to figure this out by themselves.
Srikanth played and lost to B Sai Praneeth at the Singapore Open final. But the Saturday semi at Paris promises to be a cannon-ball fest pitting two of India’s most aggressive shuttlers against each other.
In the men’s singles match, Prannoy hardly lost any sweat in the first game and held a comfortable lead throughout.
In the second game, Hyeok Jin upped his game and caused the Indian some problems. However, Prannoy was quick to overcome the difficult period and clinch the tie without any hiccups.
The other men’s singles quarter-final witnessed a dramatic comeback from the eighth-seeded Srikanth, who rose four spots to the fourth position after clinching the Denmark Open last week.
Srikanth failed to find the momentum in the first game and was easily overpowered by the Chinese shuttler.
The Indian opened up with a good lead in the second game before the breather but the Chinese clawed his way back to go neck and neck until the Guntur-born shuttler used all his experience to take the final two points.
Srikanth, however, totally dominated the proceedings in the decider to seal the match in his favour.
Also, Rio Olympics silver medallist Sindhu outclassed Chinese rising star Chen Yufei in straight games 21-14, 21-14 in a match that lasted for 42 minutes to storm into semi-finals stage. This is Sindhu’s maiden last-four appearance in the tournament.
In women’s singles, Sindhu dominated the match throughout, except for a brief period in the second game, against her world No.10 Chinese rival.
It also turned out to be a sweet revenge for the Indian star, who now enjoys a 3-2 head-to-head record against Chen.
In the semi-finals on Saturday, Sindhu will face the winner of the match between third seed Sung Ju Hyun of South Korea and fifth seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan.
Akane had defeated another Indian Saina Nehwal in the second round.
In men’s doubles, the young Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty crashed out after losing 5-21, 21-17, 17-21 to world’s top ranked combo of Denmark’s Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen in the quarter-finals.