Indonesia Open: HS Prannoy, Kidambi Srikanth march into semis

NEW DELHI: The last of India’s shuttlers at the Indonesia Super Series Premier, HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth, have entered the semi-finals on Friday with two stirring displays in the men’s singles division.

Srikanth, 24, beat the world No 19 Tzu Wei Wang of Chinese Taipei 21-15, 21-14 shortly before Prannoy claimed his second massive scalp in as many days by beating Olympic champion Chen Long on Friday 21-18, 16-21, 21-19. Today was Srikanth’s second win in as many games over Wang, who had ousted Lin Dan in the first round of the tournament.
Prannoy had a 0-3 win-loss record against Long going into the quarter-finals, and improved that to 1-3 in an intense encounter with the world No 8. The first game saw some furious rallies, with Prannoy matching Long with some excellent shots and returns. He took the lead at 10-7, then went from 14-9 to 18-14 but from 15-18, Long took the game to 18-20 before Prannoy claimed it. Long dominated the second set and won 16-12 with a series of excellent returns, setting up the decider. Neither player broke away with a sizeable lead, and the match ended in excruciating scenes as Long took it to 19-20 before returning one outside the right line. For a player on the comeback from injury, and who had to deal with issues regarding his visa and then lost baggage, this has been a superb run for Prannoy.
On Thursday, Prannoy, ranked 25th, had smashed the world No 3 Lee Chong Wei’s bid for a record seventh Indonesian Open title by winning in straight games 21-10, 21-8 while 22nd-ranked Srikanth defeated world no 9 Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark 21-15, 20-22, 21-6.
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