Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth stunned reigning world champion, Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, to reach the semi-finals, while Saina Nehwal and H.S. Prannoy lost in the quarter-finals of the Denmark Open World Superseries Premier in Odense on Friday.
Men’s singles eighth seed Srikanth eliminated Rio Olympic bronze medallist and second seed Axelsen with a 14-21, 22-20, 21-7 in 56 minutes.
The 24-year-old from Guntur was the lone bright spot for India on the day as London Olympics bronze medallist Saina and Prannoy exited the tournament.
Japanese fourth seed Akane Yamaguchi took only 29 minutes to dismantle Saina, who lost 10-21, 13-21. It was quite an underwhelming show from Saina as she failed to compete against the Japanese.
Yamaguchi will meet rising Chinese star Chen Yufei, while the other women’s singles semi-final will be fought between world No.1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei and former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Indonesia.
Prannoy fell against South Korean top seed Son Wan Ho, who won 13-21, 18-21in 44 minutes. Son will face South Korean Lee Hyun II in a last four battle. Srikanth will meet the winner of the quarter-final between Vincent Ki Wing Wong and Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei.
It is not the first time that Kidambi Srikanth has upset a big name in his career. He has a victory against Lin Dan, who many regard as the greatest badminton player of all-time, to his name. Srikanth will now hope to continue his blistering form in 2017 and add another title to his name and get his rankings up.
– With inputs from IANS