PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth Reach Syed Modi Semis
Though she has been in the finals before, PV Sindhu has never been able to win the Lucknow-based tournament before.
PV Sindhu came out with another superb performance to enter the women's singles semi-finals of the Syed Modi International Badminton Championships in Lucknow on Friday. B. Sai Praneeth, Kidambi Srikanth and the women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy also entered the last four stage of the Grand Prix Gold event. Also advancing were Sameer Verma and Harsheel Dani while Ashwini and Sikki also extended their mixed doubles campaigns to the last four stage at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium.
Olympic 2016 runner-up Sindhu had it easy against Vaidehi Choudhari 21-15, 21-11 in 26 minutes to set up a semi-final against Indonesian fourth seed Fitriani Fitriani, who was stretched by unseeded Indian Rituparna Das before prevailing 17-21, 21-13, 21-23 in 58 minutes.
Indonesian sixth seed Hanna Ramadini ended Krishna Priya Kudaravalli's run with a 21-17, 21-15 triumph in 35 minutes.
Hanna will face unseeded Indonesian Grigoria Mariska, who took only 26 minutes to throw out Spanish third seed Beatriz Corrales 21-9, 21-11.
In the men's singles competition, ninth seed Sai Praneeth defeated 11th seed Sourabh Varma 21-19, 12-21, 21-10 in 56 minutes, while Indian 15th seed Dani continued to make higher ranked opponents suffer as he went past Danish 12th seed Emil Holst 21-16, 17-21, 21-11 in 49 minutes.
In the semi-final, Sai will meet third seed Kidambi Srikanth, who hammered Malaysian seventh seed Zulfadli Zulkiffli 21-12, 21-17 in 43 minutes.
Eighth seed Sameer Verma caused a huge upset by toppling Danish second seed Hans-Kristian Vittinghus 21-15, 21-13 in 36 minutes to set up a clash against Dani.
In the women's doubles category, unseeded Ashwini and Sikki overcame Malaysian second seeds Mei Kuan Chow and Lee Meng Yean 21-18, 23-21 in 48 minutes. They will face Sanjana Santosh and Arathi Sara Sunil, who edged past Jakkampudi Meghana and Poorvisha S. Ram 12-21, 21-12, 21-9.
Ashwin tasted success in the mixed doubles too, when she partnered B. Sumeeth Reddy to upset Singapore's third seeds Yong Kai Terry Hee and Wei Han Tan 21-18, 23-21 in 48 minutes.
The seventh seeds will now face top seeds Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark, who eased past Malaysian sixth seeds Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai 21-15, 21-11 in 35 minutes.
Sikki too advanced in the mixed doubles competition as she and Pranaav Jerry Chopra defeated Prajakta Sawant and her partner Yogendran Khrishnan of Malaysia 21-16, 21-19 in 34 minutes.
However, the pair of Aparna Balan and Prajakta gave a walkover to Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl.
The unseeded Indian pair of Sruthi K.P. and Haritha Manazhiyil Harinarayan lost to Malaysian third seeds Yin Loo Lim and Yap Cheng Wen.
(With inputs from IANS)