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India's Srikanth into badminton's Australian Open semis

AFP logoAFP 23-06-2017

India's Kidambi Srikanth overcame compatriot Sai Praneeth 25-23, 21-17 to reach the semi-finals of badminton's Australian Open in Sydney on Friday. It will be Srikanth's third straight Superseries semi-final, a turnaround from his modest form of last season. "It's going great so far, I just want to play well," he said.

"I missed six-seven tournaments last year, I just want to play as many games as possible.”

© Getty Images

After a close first game, Praneeth faltered in not maintaining the pressure on Srikanth, who steadily grew in confidence and closed out the match and will face China's Shi Yuqi in Saturday's semi-finals. Chinese fourth seed Shi progressed with a 21-17, 21-12 win over Denmark's Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus.

South Korea's Lee Hyun-Il knocked out Chinese eighth seed Tian Houwei 17-21, 21-15, 21-18 and will next face China's sixth ranked Chen Long. Chen won a 78-minute struggle over two-time Olympic and five-time world champion Lin Dan 21-16, 12-21, 23-21.

China's sixth seed Sun Yu won a re-match of last year's women's final when she knocked out India's defending champion Saina Nehwal 21-17, 10-21, 21-17. Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying, recovering from flu, dug deep to beat India's fourth-ranked Pusarla Sindhu, 10-21, 22-20, 21-16 and advance to the semi-finals of the women's event.

The top seed will face Japanese third seed Akane Yamaguchi, who powered past China’s Chen Yufei, 21-15, 21-14. Japan's Nozomi Okuhara also made it to the last four following a 21-12, 23-21 victory over compatriot Sayaka Takahashi.

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