Sindhu, Srikanth, Satwik/Chirag Advance into the Swiss Semifinals

GoBadminton

Sandhya Image Courtesy: GoBadminton 05 Mar, 2021

PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth advanced into semi-finals of the Swiss Open 2021 with straight games wins in their respective quarter-finals matchups while, Satwik Sairaj/Chirag Shetty came back from a game down to also book their final-four place. Meanwhile, Sai Praneeth and Ajay Jayaram lost their quarterfinals and Satwik couldn’t mach his men’s doubles win with a triumph in the mixed doubles with Ashwini Ponnappa.

 

Satwik/Ashwini were first out on the court against 5th seeded Malaysians and lost the opening game 17-21 to find themselves under pressure. They came right back into the contest and had the momentum going into the decider. But things didn’t go quite as planned as a mid-game surge of 5 straight points put the Malaysians in the ascendency and eventually, they took the game and the match.

 

Simultaneously, Ajay Jayaram was playing Kunlavut Vitidsarn on court #3 and was comprehensively beaten by the Thai player, who barely gave the Indian a whiff on the court. B Sai Praneeth gave it a tough fight against Malaysian Lee Zii Jia but also lost in straight games 21-14 21-17.

 

By the time PV Sindhu took to the court against Busanan Ongbamrungphan Indian were 0-3 on the night and needed something special from the Olympic silver medalist.

Sindhu started off with a lot of intent and pushed herself into the lead early in the opening game – and she hung on to the lead to take it home comprehensively. The 5th seeded Thai player wasn’t letting go of the content all too easily as she mounted a spirited challenge in the second and both players remained neck-and-neck until the very end. Busanan had the game point 20-23, but Sindhu managed to save and then win the game 23-21 to book her final-four spot. Sindhu will face the Danish star Mia Blichfeld for a shot at a maiden title for 2021.

 

Kidambi Srikanth followed Sindhu on to the court, and he was also up against a Thai player – the 6th seeded Kantaphon Wangcharoen. A see-saw battle in the opening game saw both players exchange lead prior to the mid-game interval. Kantaphon then put together a five-point streak that seem to put Srikanth under the shade, but he wasn’t giving it up and came back to eventually take the game 21-19. The second game also remained a cagey affair with neither player finding a substantial lead until the mid-game interval. But then Srikanth took 7-points on the bounce and secured himself the game and the match. A tough semi-final clash against the favorite Viktor Axelsen awaits the Indian next.

 

Satwik Sairaj then returned for this second match of the day, this time a men’s doubles encounter with Chirag Shetty, taking on the Malaysian fifth seeds. The Indians lost the opening game without much of a fight, but then came back roaring in the second to force a decider. The second game had seen a clear momentum and Satwik/Chirag rode the momentum to make it to the semifinals 12-21 21-19 21-12.

 

Elsewhere, Carolina Marin continued her winning streak against Beiwen Zhang, as did Pornpawee Chochuwong.

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