French Open: Srikanth overcomes Prannoy to reach finals; Sindhu exits

Kidambi Srikanth (Image credit: mid-day)

Paris: In what was a mixed day for Indian shuttlers at the French Open, World Championships silver medalist PV Sindhu was knocked out while, Kidambi Srikanth survived a scare, snatching a win from the jaws of defeat to reach his fifth Super Series final of 2017 and second in successive weeks at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris on Saturday.

Having already won three Super Series titles this year, Srikanth was aiming for his fourth when he took on countryman HS Prannoy in the semi-finals, with the latter aiming for his first. Desperate for a title, Prannoy showed his intent winning the first set 21-14.

The 25-year-old Prannoy was well on the verge of winning, standing at 19-17 in the second set. But, Srikanth with a more big match experience bounced back to win the next four points, eventually winning the second set 21-19 to take the match to the decider, what could have been a straight sets win for Prannoy.

The third set was a similar battle as Prannoy was again dominant in the first half and could have well reached the finals with a 18-16 lead at one point, but could not hold on to his nerves as Srikanth changed the tides to win it 21-18 and enter the finals for a second successive time in as many tournaments.

The world no. 4 with now will face Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto, who defeated Anders Antonsen 21-17, 21-15 to reach the finals. With a 1-0 head-to-head lead against the Japanese, Srikanth has a golden chance to claim his fourth Super Series title this year and become the first Indian to do so.

Earlier, Rio Olympics silver medalist PV Sindhu could not put up a fight as fifth seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan defeated the world number two 21-14, 21-9 in a match that lasted just 39 minutes.

The Hyderabadi shuttler looked tired and was sluggish in her movements as Yamaguchi continued to exploit her weak left side forcing her make several forced errors.

Akane will now face the top seeded Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the final on Sunday as she aims for her first Super Series title in what will be her second successive final in as many tournaments.

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