As we near the close of the Syed Modi International Badminton Championships, things have become tense on the courts with surprise losses being handed to favoured seeds. On the fourth day of the tournament over at Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium in Lucknow, only Sourabh Verma and Rituparna Das could take advantage of their quarterfinal matches as they notched victories and progressed to the semi-finals of the tournament. Former World No.1, Kidambi Srikanth crashed out and ruined his hopes of ending the year on a high also.
Sourabh Verma, who has had a good season this time, collecting two BWF Super 100 titles in Hyderabad and Vietnam, put up an inspired performance against Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn.
The young Thai player, who has been a three-time World Junior Champion and is also the current Asian Junior Champion, took down Sai Praneeth at an earlier stage of the tournament also. Almost delivering justice for that act, Sourabh Verma slew Vitidsarn on the court in a gripping 21-19, 21-16 affair. With that, the 26-year-old boy from Dhar has made it to the semi-finals of the tournament. He will be playing Korea's Heo Kwang Hee for a spot in the finals on Sunday.
Kidambi Srikanth, whose 2019 was peppered with injuries, suffered a straight-game defeat to former World No. 1 Korean player Son Wan-Ho. For Srikanth, it hasn't been a fruitful year and he has dipped in the rankings too. His best performance of the year came way back in the India Open 2019. After suffering an 18-21, 19-21 defeat, Srikanth was sent packing home by the Korean in their eleventh meeting.
In another stunning performance, Rituparna Das, a former National Champion displayed a relentless form to get the better off Shruti Mundada. It was a very tight quarter-final match between the two with Mundada forcing Das into playing a three-game match. In the all-Indian clash, Das overcame Mundada 24-26 21-10 21-19 to make it to the semi-finals. The two-time Polish International Champion will face Phittayaporn Chaiwan of Thailand in the next round.
The doubles duo of Kuhoo Garg and Anoushka Parikh and the young pair of Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker found themselves to be of no match for their opponents and they crashed out of the tournament. With that, all hopes are now pinned on Sourabh Verma and Rituparna Das as they go ahead into the semis.