Australian Open: Kidambi Srikanth to take on China's Shi Yuqi in semis

Australian Open: Kidambi Srikanth to take on China's Shi Yuqi in semis”

Recently-crowned Indonesia Open champion Kidambi Srikanth on Saturday defeated the fourth seed China's Shi Yuqi in the semi-finals of the men's singles event of the Australian Open Super Series at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre. This will be the third straight Super Series final for Srikanth, who had only last week secured the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier title.

Speaking exclusively to NDTV about the golden era of men's badminton in India, veteran shuttler Pullela Gopichand said, "Well definitely, I think we have many players and all of them are performing well at the highest level". The opening game began with nothing to choose between the two shuttlers. The way he picked Yuqi's smashes were signs that he was moving well.

In the first game, the Shi Yuqi managed to stay in touch with Srikanth at 4-4 but it was one-way traffic from the there as Srikanth opened a big 16-10 lead, and then wrapped up the game with reeling off five consecutive points. Game 2 also began on an even keel. Srikanth bagged a couple of lucky points to extend his supremacy to 14-8, but with time running out, Yuqi showed signs of life by winning the next three points. That however, was the last gush of adrenaline the Chinese could muster.

The world no.11 will face the victor of the other men's singles semi-final between Chen Long and Lee Hyun II, which will take place later in the day.

Prior to the AO Badminton competition, both Kidambi and Praneeth did the nation proud by qualifying for the finals of the Singapore Superseries.

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