India’s top-ranked shuttler HS Prannoy and youthful Priyanshu Rajawat both advanced to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, setting up an all-Indian men’s singles semi-final encounter in 2023. Priyanshu, 21, defeated compatriot and former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth in 30 minutes in straight games to advance to his second BWF World Tour semi-final of the season.
The only other surviving Indian, two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu, was eliminated following a straight game loss against USA’s Beiwen Zhang.
Sindhu, the fifth seed at the Australian Open 2023, began India’s proceedings on the day but did not have a strong start, enabling Zhang to dominate from the opening points.
Later that day, HS Prannoy defeated WR-2 and first seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in three games (16-21, 21-17, 21-14). Prannoy appeared to be a completely different player after the first game loss. Ginting handed the Indian over ten points during the game, which came back to punish the Indonesian very hard in the end.
Prannoy, 31, seized the lead in the second game’s mid-game intermission (11-9) and never trailed again until the end. Ginting, on the other hand, had a couple strong spurts in between. Prannoy had seven game point opportunities in the second game. However, the Indonesian saved four of them to put pressure on Prannoy.
However, with such a large distance between them, Prannoy easily won the game. Prannoy’s great form continued in the last game, which didn’t last long.
Priyanshu Rajawat easily defeated countrymate Kidambi Srikanth, ending the match in 30 minutes. Following that, HS Prannoy will face Priyanshu Rajawat in an All-India match for a spot in the final of the Australia Open.
Featured Image: The Statesman