New Delhi [India]: Former champion Kidambi Srikanth is on course for a second India Open title, as he came from behind to defeat China’s Huang Yuxiang 16-21, 21-14, 21-19 in the men’s singles semi-final here on Saturday.
In the finals, Srikanth will meet Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen on Sunday at the KD Jadhav Hall, Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here.
In an intense first game, the scoreline was evenly poised at 4-4. Srikanth with a halfcourt smash took the lead 9-8 but then trailed 14-18. An inch-perfect drop from the Indian reduced the lead to 16-20 but the Chinese sealed the first game 21-16.
Srikanth made amends and extended his lead 9-4 over Yuxiang to keep himself in the hunt for the second game. The Indian took the driver’s seat at 14-6 and raced to take the game in decider 21-14.
The world number seven built a steady lead 7-5 over Yuxiang in the decider. The Indian held on to his nerves as he took three points on the trot to reduce the lead to 17-18 and ousted the Chinese by 21-19 to book his seat in the summit clash.
Meanwhile, Axelsen defeated Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap in straight games 21-11, 21-17.
Kashyap who appeared in a semi-final after more than three years took an early lead 2-1 over Axelsen. The Danish made a solid comeback to turn the tables with 14-9. Axelsen then capitalised on the Indian’s errors to secure the first game at 21-11.
In the second game, Kashyap took the lead 12-10 with a splendid cross court smash but Axelsen regained the momentum and sealed the game 21-17 to lock his final seat.