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Kidambi Srikanth stuns World No.1, faces B Sai Praneeth in Australian Open quarters

Kidambi Srikanth will face compatriot B Sai Praneeth in the men’s singles quarter-finals while PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal have also entered the last eight of women’s singles at the $750,000 Australian Open Superseries.

other sports Updated: Jun 22, 2017 17:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Kidambi Srikanth,Son Wan-ho,B Sai Praneeth
Kidambi Srikanth has progressed to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open Superseries.(AFP)

Kidambi Srikanth stunned World No.1 Son Wan-ho for the second consecutive time in a week as B Sai Praneeth also earned a hard fought three-game victory to set up an Indian men’s singles quarter-final clash at the $750,000 Australian Open Superseries in Sydney on Thursday.

In women’s singles, fifth seed PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal also progressed to the quarter-finals with contrasting wins. While Olympic silver medallist beat China’s Chen Xiaoxin 21-13, 21-18 in 46 minutes in what was their first career meeting, Saina overcame Malaysian opponent Soniia Cheah 21-15, 20-22, 21-14 in an hour and two minutes.

READ | PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal lead Indian advance at Australian Open

Srikanth, who won the $1,000,000 Indonesia Open Superseries Premier on Sunday, came up with a brilliant performance to beat the South Korean top seed 15-21, 21-13, 21-13 in 57 minutes at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre.

This was Srikanth’s second consecutive victory against Son after defeating the World No.1 last week in Indonesia as well. Overall, the head-to-head now stands at 4-all.

READ | P Kashyap, Siril Verma, RS Gadde qualify for Australian Open badminton

However, the World No.11 Indian has set up a last eight clash against friend and compatriot Sai Praneeth, who ousted China’s Huang Yuxiang 21-15, 18-21, 21-13 in an hour and four minutes.

This was Sai Praneeth’s first victory over the Chinese in two meetings, having faced him previously at the 2015 US Open.

World No.16 Sai Praneeth, who won the Singapore Open Superseries in April, has an incredible 5-1 advantage over Srikanth, including two victories this year.

READ | Kidambi Srikanth bags Indonesia Super Series Premier title

A little later, Japanese seventh seeds Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto defeated Indian women’s doubles pairing of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy 18-21, 21-18, 21-13 in an hour and five minutes in the second round.

Chinese Taipei eighth seeds Chen Hung Ling and Wang Chi-Lin also defeated Indian pair Satwiksairaj Ranloreddy and Chirag Shetty 21-16, 21-18 in 38 minutes.

First Published: Jun 22, 2017 12:13 IST