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Austrian Open 2018: Parupalli Kashyap enters semi-finals, Subhankar Dey retires

519   //    24 Feb 2018, 12:46 IST

ParupallI Kashyap
Parupalli Kashyap

Reigning Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap became the only Indian to make it through to the semi-finals of the Austrian Open 2018 held at the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna on Friday. The 31-year-old, who is seeded second at this tournament, staved off a challenge from the seventh seeded Victor Svendsen to notch up a 21-17, 21-19 win in 32 minutes.

Kashyap next takes on the fifth seeded Raul Must of Estonia for a place in the final of this International Challenge event.

Kashyap had to fight back from a huge deficit in the first game. After trailing 8-14, he reeled off 10 points in a row in a remarkable turnaround that saw him go up to 18-14 and he soon grabbed the game afterwards. There was not much to choose between the two in the second game as they remained at par with each other till 19-19.

This is the first semi-final of the season for the former World No. 6. He came to this tournament on the back of a quarter-final finish at the India Open earlier this month. He is aiming to reach a final on the BWF World Tour for the first time since the US Open in July, where he went down to HS Prannoy in three games.

Earlier in the day, Kashyap was made to work hard in the second round by Malaysia’s World No. 119 Jia Wei Tan. The Indian eked out a tight second game for a 21-15, 22-20 win.

National Championships bronze medallist Subhankar Dey was the only other Indian to make it through to the last-eight. But the 24-year-old, who was seeded fourth at this event, was forced to retire due to injury when he was trailing 1-2 against Malaysia’s Jun Hao Leong.

He had earlier beaten the 151st ranked Job Castillo 21-6, 22-20 in the second round.

Rahul Yadav Chittaboina too had reached the second round. He was outclassed in the second game after putting up an impressive fight in the opener and went down 17-21, 9-21 to the seventh seeded Victor Svendsen.

In women’s singles, 18-year-old Ira Sharma succumbed to a 16-21, 13-21 defeat to China’s Xu Wei in Round 2.

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A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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