Ending the trophy-dry year, Srikanth Kidambi finally booked a seal by entering the India Open semi-final on Wednesday along with PV Sindhu and both ace players will be playing for the $350,000 India Open semi-final on Friday.
Since December 2017, the Indian ace shuttler Srikanth Kidambi was on a downslide with a trophy-less and title dry entire year. In last 15 months, Kidambi lost nine quarter-finals, two semi-finals and one Commonwealth Games 2018 final. However, the quarterfinal game played on Wednesday changed the equations and Kidambi broke the title-less spell with a victory over compatriot B Sai Praneeth. With a score of 21-23, 21-11, 21-19 in a 62 minute pulsating contest, Kidambi booked his place for the India Open men’s semi-final against China’s World No. 30 Huang Yuxiang that is to be played on Friday.
Shrugging off speculations of his failures, Kidambi said, “Stop comparing me with 2017″ in a friendly tone as I have grown from there. There was 2018, where I won a Commonwealth Games medal. I have grown. We have moved on. It has been two years”, as he gets ready to get back on track for the Tokyo Olympics next year. Albeit still skirmish about his ankle injury and fitness, the World No 7 is now thinking about 2020 Olympics and his goal for now is to reach to the “peak of fitness” once again, and give his best in the Olympics.
On the other hand, for the 2016 finalist and 2017 India Open champion PV Sindhu, skimming off her quarterfinal contender from Denmark – Mia Blichfeldt with a close cut score of 21-19, 22-20 placed her just one step away from the $350,000 India Open trophy. For the semi-finals on Saturday, Sindhu will play against her Chinese contender He Bingjiao, who has always been a tricky player. Alongwith Sindhu and Kidambi, India’s experienced champion Parupalli Kashyap too regained and booked his ticket for the men’s singles semi-finals on Friday.