Singapore, April 15
Men’s singles shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and B. Sai Praneeth on Saturday registered easy wins in the semi-finals of the $350,000 Singapore Open, marking the first instance of an all-India final in a Superseries event to be fought here on Sunday.
World No.29 Srikanth registered a thumping 21-13, 21-14 win over No.26 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia in 42 minutes at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
In the other semi-final, world No.30 Praneeth smashed past South Korean 35th-ranked Lee Dong Keun 21-6, 21-8 in 38 minutes to sail into the final.
Though Srikanth is a bigger name than Praneeth, having won the 2014 China Superseries Premier and 2015 India Superseries and a quarter-final appearance at the Rio Olympics, the latter has a 4-1 head-to-head record. Srikanth will not be happy facing an opponent who knows his game and someone who has got the better of him so many times.
But Srikanth has the big-game experience that will give him an added advantage.
During the semi-final, Srikanth showed his experience against Ginting. He was trailing 4-9 in the first game and then he registered an emphatic 10 points on the trot in a display of aggressive badminton. Ginting couldn’t recover from this as he conceded the first game.
In the second game, Srikanth continued his high jump smashes as he raced to a 9-1 lead. Ginting tried his best to came near Srikanth but it proved to be difficult. The closest Ginting came was at 14-16. But the Indian snatched five points on the trot to seal the game.
Sai Praneeth was on a roll in the second semi-final. Keun looked a bit tired and couldn’t move well, while Praneeth rocked winners consistently.
A 10-1 lead in the first game paved the way to a 21-6 win, while in the second game it was almost a similar show as the Indian cantered home to a 21-8 triumph.
Meanwhile, the women’s singles title will be a contest between Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain and top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.
Singapore, April 15