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Badminton Asia Championships 2018: Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy make it to semis, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth bow out

Sagnik Kundu
FEATURED COLUMNIST
News
1.18K   //    27 Apr 2018, 20:34 IST

2016 Australian Badminton Open
Saina Nehwal

It was a mixed day for the Indian shuttlers at the Badminton Asia Championships 2018 being held in Wuhan, China.

While Saina Nehwal progressed to the semifinal, PV Sindhu crashed out in the quarters. In the men's singles event, World No. 5 Kidambi Srikanth succumbed to defeat at the hands of Lee Chong Wei. However, HS Prannoy made it through after registering an incredible win over World No. 2 Son Wan Ho.

Saina and Prannoy assured a medal each by qualifying for the semifinals which will be held on Saturday.

Saina storms into semis, Sindhu disappoints

Saina, who has been in terrific form over the last one month or so, showed her true class when she defeated unseeded Lee Jang Mi of South Korea 21-15 21-13 in just 43 minutes. In the last 4, she will face long-time nemesis and World No. 2, Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.

However, having won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in both the mixed team and individual events, she is brimming with confidence at the moment. Trailing 3-8 at one point in the first game, Saina showed tremendous character to make a comeback.

"I am pleased with my game. Right now my confidence is at a high and I hope to go beyond the semis," the 28-year-old, who is yet to drop a game in Wuhan, said after her match.

On the other hand, World No. 3 Sindhu lost 19-21, 10-21 to seventh-seeded Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea. The Indian let slip a 16-12 lead in the first game and could never really play at her best after that.

Srikanth bows out, giant killing Prannoy beats World No. 2

In a mouth-watering quarter-final clash, Srikanth took on Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei. It was the third meeting between the two shuttlers in one month. While it was the Indian who had won in the mixed team final, Lee had the last laugh in the Men's Singles final in Gold Coast.

Today, though, Srikanth was nowhere near his best as he made errors frequently. Lee took advantage of it and came out all guns blazing to win 21-12, 21-15 in just 32 minutes.

"This is my worst performance in an international tournament," Srikanth said after the loss. "I was never in the game and simply gave him many opportunities to get points. I wanted an error-free game but it turned out to be otherwise."

The star of the day, though, was World No. 10 Prannoy, who pulled off a huge upset. The 25-year-old staged a terrific fight to come back from a game down and win 18-21 23-21 21-12 against World No. 2 Son Wan Ho. In a clash that lasted 1 hour and 12 minutes, the Indian shuttler held his nerves during the tight situations and eked out an unprecedented win.

Prannoy, who had narrowly missed out on a medal at the Commonwealth Games, will meet World No. 3 Chen Long in the semifinal.

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Sagnik Kundu
FEATURED COLUMNIST
I spend every day at office wondering how they got the table through the door.
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