PV Sindhu overcame a slow start before easing past compatriot Vaidehi Choudhari 21-15 21-11 to enter the semifinals of the Syed Modi International Grand Prix badminton championships in Lucknow on Friday.
A difference of 600 world ranking points between the Rio Olympics silver medallist and Vaidehi Choudhari clearly indicated what would be the outcome of their tussle even before the match started.
PV Sindhu, the world No 9, was calm and composed as she scripted a straight games win before a moderate crowd at the UP Badminton Academy. Though Sindhu was challenged for a while in the opening game when Choudhari levelled the scores at seven, it was a routine affair for her from there as she won it 21-15.
Long rallies mixed with perfect dribbling at the net and powerful smashes down the line by the top-ranked Indian left Choudhari scrambling, with Sindhu winning the second game 21-11.
The 26-minute victory was top-seed Sindhu’s third, all against Indians. In the semifinals, she will play fourth seeded Indonesian Fitriani Fitriani, who brushed aside India’s Rituparna Das 21-12, 21-19. The second semi-final on Saturday, Indonesians Gregoria Mariska and Hanna Ramadini will challenge each other.
In the men’s singles, India’s Kidambi Srikanth faced a battle of nerves against former junior world champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli. Continuing his good run, the two-time champion and world No 19 took 43 minutes to overcome the seventh seeded Malaysian’s challenge 21-12, 21-17 and enter the semifinals.
Srikanth, who had defeated Zulkiffli at the 2012 Maldives International Challenge final, did feel some heat in the second game. Despite trailing 6-11, Zulkiffli came up with some stunning shots and leveled the scores at 14-all. But a series of perfect cross-court drops by Srikanth from there allowed Zulkiffli to win just three more points before the Indian wrapped up the match.