Top seed Kidambi Srikanth and Ajay Jayaram will meet each other in an all-Indian semifinals after notching up contrasting victories in the men’s singles quarterfinals of the USD 120,000 Swiss Grand Prix Gold badminton championship.
Srikanth notched up an easy 21-11 21-12 win over eighth seed Takuma Ueda of Japan while Jayaram had to fight his way back from one game down to emerge 17-21 23-21 21-15 victorious over another Japanese player Kazumasa Sakai in a thrilling 58-minute quarterfinal match at the St Jakobshalle stadium.
The two Indians play each other in the semifinals.
World number four Srikanth led his opponent throughout the match and the Japanese never got any chance of a fightback.
The beginning of the match saw both players tied at 2-2 score but from then onwards Srikanth raced ahead to leave behind his opponent to take the first game 21-11.
The script was the same in the second game too with both players tied at 2-2 before the 22-year-old Indian went into a cruise mode to pocket the match easily.
On the other hand, Jayaram began tentatively as he played catching-up in the first game before losing it 17-21. The Indian, however, bounced back in remarkable fashion by winning the second game as he hung on tenaciously to claw his way back into the match.
The two players were tied 6-6 in the second game and they were neck-to-neck before levelling 19-19, 20-20 and 21-21. Jayaram held on to his nerves before finally reeling off two straight points to bag the second game 23-21 and take the match to the decider.
In the deciding game, it was Jayaram’s turn to be ahead most of the time with his Japanese rival playing catch-up. After the scores were tied 10-10, Jayaram raced ahead and kept on widening the gap till he pocketed the third game 21-15 and book a semifinal berth.
Meanwhile, it was curtains for 12th seed B Sai Praneeth after the Indian went down to seventh seed Hsu Jen Hao of Chinese Taipei 18-21 12-21 in another pre-quarterfinal match.