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Srikanth beats Praneeth to reach Australian Open semis

In the women's singles Saina was up against a tough opponent in fourth seed Sung Ji Hyun of Korea but the former world no.1 showed her masterclass to beat her opponent in straight games. PTI file

This will be Srikanth's third successive Super Series final after Singapore and Indonesia.

He had previously defeated qualifier Kan Chao Yu, World no. 1 Son Wan Ho and Praneeth in the first two rounds and quarterfinal respectively and will next face Olympic gold medallist Chen Long from China in the final. After Shi drew level at 7-7, Srikanth used his deceptive style of play to his advantage by dominating with his forehand, forcing Shi to net shots, taking a lead of 11-7 at the changeover.

Although Praneeth fought hard, Srikanth managed to maintain a lead over his compatriot, and finally clinched the second game and the match. "That's been the pattern every time I've lost to top players, I've missed my opportunities", said Srikanth.

The final game was again a close contest with both players trying to outwit each other.

Yamaguchi's opponent in Sunday's final will be her fellow Japanese Uber Cup teammate, Nozomi Okuhara, who looked very near her best form while showing China's Sun Yu the door, by a 21-18, 18-21, 21-14 scoreline. "I just want to play well, because I missed six-seven tournaments previous year, I just want to play as many games as possible". But like the first game, Srikanth upped the ante and streaked to 15-8 lead.

Kidambi Srikanth displayed a different aspect of his game today as he patiently played around Shi Yuqi.

Srikanth had registered a straight game 21-14, 21-16 en route to the final of the tournament. The Indian erased the deficit to held the match point at 20-19 but the Chinese Taipei shuttler sealed it with two good points.

She then went on a run of her own, playing some stupendous badminton as Sindhu was left with no answer, ultimately wrapping up the 10-21, 22-20, 21-16 win in exactly an hour.