Badminton: Axelsen sets up title clash with Srikanth at India Open

Badminton: Axelsen sets up title clash with Srikanth at India Open

Denmark's Viktor Axelsen has made giant strides in the sport after single-handedly breaking
Denmark's Viktor Axelsen. (Photo: AFP/Sajjad Hussain)

NEW DELHI: Danish ace Viktor Axelsen overcame Indian veteran Parupalli Kashyap in straight games on Saturday (Mar 30) to set up a title clash with home favourite Kidambi Srikanth in India Open badminton.

World number four Axelsen served past the 32-year-old Kashyap 21-11, 21-17 in the men's semifinal of the BWF World Tour Super 500 tournament in New Delhi.

Axelsen, who is top seed by default after the last-minute pullout of defending champion Shi Yuqi of China, was stretched in the second game by Kashyap but won the match in 43 minutes.

"I think I didn't control the drift in the start of the second game that well, however I started to control it better and make some right decisions," said Axelsen.

"It's going to be really nice playing Srikanth in India, so I am looking forward to it. I am really pleased to be in the finals," he added.

Earlier Srikanth, 26, managed a come-from-behind victory against China's Huang Yuxiang 16-21, 21-14, 21-19 in a thrilling match that lasted for just over an hour.

Srikanth, a former world number one who witnessed a title drought after winning four SuperSeries events in 2017, dug deep to edge out Huang, who is ranked 30.

Srikanth, who is placed seventh in world badminton rankings, said he was "happy to be playing the final again" after a long time.

In the women's singles, China's He Bingjiao edged past Indian star PV Sindhu 23-21, 21-18 to book her Sunday final with Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the $350,000 event.

Olympic silver medallist Sindhu blew four game points in the opener to lose the initiative against Bingjiao, who is seeded third and took down last year's winner Zhang Beiwen of the United States in the quarter-finals.

"I think I need to be more patient, I should have taken the first game, it was crucial for me but after losing it, I became a bit nervous," said Sindhu.

"I made crucial mistakes in the second game."

Fourth seeded Intanon fought hard to get past Han Yue of China 21-15, 19-21, 21-18.

Source: AFP/ec

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