PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen in BWF World Tour Finals Semifinals
Lakshya Sen will play second-seeded Malaysian Lee Lee Zii Jia in the semifinals.
PV Sindhu and Lakshya Sen progressed into the semifinals of the BWF World Tour Finals while Kidambi Srikanth and the men’s and women’s doubles pairs exited the tournament after the group stages in Bali on Friday.
Sindhu and Sen entered the knockouts in contrasting fashion with luck having a big role to play for the latter.
Sindhu, 26, winner of the year-end tournament in 2018, outplayed Germany's World No. 23 Yvonne Li 21-10, 21-13 to win her second Group A match Thursday to book a place in the knockouts. She will play top Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand in her third and final group match -- an inconsequential tie as far as progress in the tournament.
Sen, meanwhile, was guaranteed a place in the semifinals after two of his opponents in Group A -- Japan's Kento Momota and Denmark's Rasmus Gemke -- pulled out due to injuries. He lost 15-21, 14-21 to Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen in his opening match.
Sindhu played at a good pace against Li, engaging her rival in short rallies and jumped to a 5-1 lead before entering the mid-game interval with a six-point advantage.
That advantage became 10 points as Sindhu, with precise smashes and drops. She pocketed the opening game with a deceptive net shot. Li produced a better show in the second game but Sindhu ensured she had her nose ahead at the interval, leading 11-8.
The Indian eventually grabbed seven match points and sealed it after her opponent sent the shuttle long -- a constant narrative in the match.
Srikanth bowed out after losing to second seeded Malaysian Lee Zii Jia in straight games in his third and final Group B on Friday. The former World No. 1 went down to the reigning All England champion 19-21, 14-21 in 37 minutes.
Srikanth had opened the tournament with a win over Toma Junior Popov. However, he jeopardized his chances by going down 18-21, 7-21 to three-time junior world champion, Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn in his second match.
India's women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy beat British duo of Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith in a hard-fought three-game encounter on Friday to end their campaign with a consolation win. Ponnappa-Reddy won the inconsequential match with 21-19, 9-21, 21-14.
The Indian duo lost their previous two group stage matches in straight games and hence finished third in the standings.
With the defeat, India's campaign in doubles came to a disappointing end. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty had already pulled out as the former suffered a knee injury.
The duo handed a walkover to top seeded Indonesian pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo after Rankireddy complained of knee pain.
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