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Saina, Srikanth enter Australian Open semi-finals

Seventh seeded Saina beat second-seeded Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 28-26, 21-16 in 56 minutes while Srikanth overcame Hee Heo Kwang 21-18, 21-17 in a 36-minute quarter-final clash

Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth registered straight wins in the women’s and men’s singles matches to storm into the semi-finals of the $750,000 Australian Open Superseries on Friday.

Playing the third match of the day, Saina, seeded seventh, beat second-seeded Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 28-26, 21-16 in 56 minutes while Srikanth overcame Hee Heo Kwang 21-18, 21-17 in a 36-minute quarter-final clash.

In the opening game, Saina trailed briefly but bounced back superbly to force a tie-breaker. After that it was the Indian who dictated the terms in the second game to pocket it with ease.

The World No.8 will now take on fourth seed Yihan Wang in the semi-finals on Saturday against whom she trails 4-11 in head-to-head face-offs.

In men’s singles, Srikanth had a relatively easy outing against the South Korean qualifier. The Indian will now take on Denmark’s Vittinghus Hans-Kristian in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, in a major upset, Chinese top seed Chen Long crashed out of the tournament after going down 21-14, 21-17 to Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in a 44-minute clash.

Ginting will now face South Korea’s Jeon Hyeok Jin in the semi-finals.

IANS

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