29 June 2018
Kuala Lumpur: Seasoned Indian shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth stormed into the $700,000 Malaysia Open semi-finals after registering straight game victories in their respective women's and men's quarter-final matches in Bukit Jalil here on Friday.
Rio Olympics silver medallist Sindhu overcame a stiff challenge before taming reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin 22-20, 21-19 in a fiercely-fought 53-minute quarter-final clash while Srikanth hardly broke into sweat while beating France's Brice Leverdez 21-18, 21-14.
Fourth seed Srikanth, who won a silver medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, dumped world no 22 Leverdez 21-18 21-14 in a 39-minute clash at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil, a suburb in Kuala Lumpur.
The Indian had also beaten the French in three games at the All England Championship this year.
The 25-year-old Srikanth will take on former world no 2 and 2015 world championship bronze medallist Kento Momota of Japan in the race to the final of the world tour super 750 tournament on Saturday.
Later in the day, the clash between third seed Sindhu and former world No.1 Carolina witnessed a close contest in the first game, that saw both shuttlers going neck and neck before the Indian kept her nerve to pocket it.
The second game too went about in similar fashion, with the Spaniard making a quick recovery but somehow failed to get the momentum going against the lanky Hyderabadi.
This was Sindhu's fifth win over the former World Champion in 11 meetings and third in the last four.
The 22-year-old Indian will next take on top seed and World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, who has a remarkable 8-3 advantage in career meetings and has beaten the Indian in their last four matches.
The last time Sindhu won against the Chinese Taipei girl was at the 2016 Rio Olympics.