Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth delivered contrasting results at the Dubai World Super Series Finals yet again on Thursday. While Sindhu defeated Japan’s Sayaka Sato 21-13, 21-12 to book a place in the semifinals, Srikanth was knocked out of the tournament with a second consecutive defeat to Chou Tien Chen.
Sindhu began confidently, going into the opening game mid-interval break with a three-point lead at 11-8. She then worked on her lead and extended it by eight points. The second game was no different. Sindhu dominated from the beginning to go into the break with 11-6 lead. The Hyderabadi shuttler then seemed in a hurry to wrap-up the match and defeated the Japanese in 36 minutes.
Sindhu will now play another Japanese, Akane Yamaguchi, in her final group match on Friday. Yamaguchi, who is the top seed in the tournament, has already booked her spot in last four. The winner of the Sindhu-Yamaguchi match will, however, finish at the top of the group.
Srikanth, on the other hand, went down 21-18, 21-18 against Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei in a 43-minute encounter. With the second consecutive straight-game defeat in the group stage, Srikanth is now out of the semifinals contention. He started on a slow note, losing the first three points in the opening game and moving into the mid-interval break with a 5-point difference at 11-6. Tien Chen further extended the lead to eight points before Srikanth took matters in his control. The Indian shuttler played some exceptional badminton in the dying moments of the game but ended up going down fighting 21-18.
He, however, began the second game on the same note he ended the opening game with. A gritty performance saw him taking the lead and going into the break with a two point lead at 11-9. The second half saw a neck-to-neck performance by the two shuttlers, before the World No. 5 ended the match with the same result.
He will now face group leader Shi Yuqi, third seed, on Friday in his last match of the group stage. Yuqi with two wins in two matches is now assured of semis spot, while the match between defending champion Viktor Axelsen and Chou Tien-chen will decide the second semi-finalist fron Group B.