PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth sailed into the semifinals of the Swiss Open BWF Super-300 tournament in Basel. While Sindhu downed Busanan Ongamrungphan of Thailand 21-16, 23-21, Srikanth registered a straight-game victory against Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand 21-19, 21-15.
In the semifinals, Srikanth will face top seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark. Axelsen had it easy against seventh seed Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia 21-17, 21-12. Axelsen defeated Srikanth five times in eight matches
Earlier on Friday, Sai Praneeth, Ajay Jayaram and the mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy- Ashwini Ponnappa were knocked out.
In the quarterfinals, fifth seed Sai lost to second seed Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia 14-21, 17-21, Jayaram stumbled against eighth seed Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand 9-21, 6-21. Satwik-Ashwini worked hard before losing to fifth seeds Tan Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing of Malaysia 17-21, 21-16, 18-21.
The Indian mixed pair ran out of gas in the third. From 11-11, the Malaysians widened the margin to 16-11. Though the Indians reduced the gap to 16-17, Kian-Pei scored three more points to move to the match point.
Sindhu did not look comfortable against Busanan as the Thai stretched the Indian in the second game.
In the semifinals on Saturday, the world champion will face fourth seed Mia Blichfeldt. The Dane stopped the brilliant run of Phittayaporn Chaiwan of Thailand 21-10, 21-7.
Though Sindhu enjoys a 3-1 win-loss record against world No.12 Mia, the Dane had shocked the Indian in the first round of the Thailand Open in January. In the other half of the draw, top seed Carolina Marin of Spain reached the last four. Marin downed Beiwen Zhang of USA 21-13, 21-13.
Indian results (QFs):
Men’s singles: 4-Kidambi Srikanth bt Kantaphon Wangcharoen (Tha) 21-19, 21-15; 2-Lee Zii Jia (Mas) bt 5-Sai Praneeth 21-14, 21-17; 8-Kunlavut Vitidsarn (Tha) bt Ajay Jayaram 21-9, 21-6.
Women’s singles: 2-PV Sindhu bt 5-Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Tha) 21-15, 23-21.
Mixed doubles: Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing (Mas) bt Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Ashwini Ponnappa 21-17, 16-21, 21-18.