In what was an all-Indian quarterfinal of the Australian Super Series, the 24-year-old Guntur-born Kidambi Srikanth got the better of his national compatriot Sai Praneeth 25-23, 21-17 in straight games to book a place in his third consecutive Super Series semi-final.
The recently crowned Indonesia Super Series champion, Srikanth certainly wasn’t supported by the numbers as Sai Praneeth was heading into the game with a 5-1 head to head record against his counterpart. It was always going to be a hard-fought encounter fittingly delivered the same. Both Sai and Srikanth were playing a quick one-two and even though Sai made a good start, leading 4-1 at one point, he found himself lagging as Srikanth made it 11-10 as the game approached its first break.
With scores tied at 20-20 in the first game, the spectators witnessed a game like never before. Again a quick one-two followed and with two back to back points Srikanth took the first game into his pocket. The second game started in similar fashion as Sai took an early 3-0 lead, but Srikanth managed to close down the deficit. The game was closed poised at 9-9 and this is when Srikanth took a jump. Managing a four-point lead at 16-12, the 24-year-old Srikanth stretched his lead to 20-16 and only allowed Sai to grab one point before squaring off the game at 21-17.
This certainly was an amazing victory for Srikanth, but same cannot be said for his national compatriot PV Sindhu, who was scheduled to lock horns with the World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipeiv. Even though Sindhu managed to win the first game, Tai Tzu Ying’s brilliant comeback ended Sindhu’s Australian Super Series’ quest in the quarter-final itself. The Hyderabad-born shuttler bowed out of the tournament by 21-10, 20-22, 16-21.