Akarshi Kashyap will also compete in the semi-finals of women’s singles.
It was a sensational day at the India Open as we saw a mix of emotions starting with joy, ecstasy and agony. While some of them made it to the semi-finals, others fell short of their target. Despite COVID-19 causing all the trouble for several shuttlers, Indian badminton fans still have a lot to cheer for on Day 5 of the tournament.
It is heartening to see that there are Indian representatives in almost all the categories. Therefore, the fans will look to get behind them and hope that they go past the final few hurdles with flying colours.
In the men’s singles category, India’s only hope is their young sensational Lakshya Sen. The 20-year-old shuttler has shown a lot of promise by winning the bronze medal at the recent World Championship. He has continued that form at the India Open, as he got the better of the more experienced HS Prannoy. Sen lost the first game, but showed great resolve to come from behind to win 14-21, 21-9, 21-14.
He will look to carry all of that form into the semi-finals as he takes on Malaysia’s NG Tze Yong. The 21-year-old Malaysian shuttler has also looked very lively in this tournament. He defeated Irish star Nhat Nguyen in the last round and will be brimming with confidence. It will surely be a very exciting battle between two young shuttlers aiming to make it to the finals of the India Open.
The winner of this clash will play the winner of the other semi-final match between Canada’s Brian Yang and world champion Loh Kean Yew.
Unlike Lakshya Sen, India have two representatives in the women’s singles category. While people expected double Olympic medalist PV Sindhu to secure a place on the podium, not many thought of youngster Akarshi Kashyap reaching the last four of the India Open.
The 20-year-old shuttler has been the breakthrough star of this tournament. She is yet to drop a game. Akarshi beat another talented shuttler Malvika Bansod 21-12, 21-15 in the last round. However, Akarshi’s semi-final challenge will be against Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan. The Thai shuttler is the second seed and is currently the World No. 12 in the BWF Rankings. It will surely be an uphill task for the Indian youngster, but she will look to put up a tough fight against her superior opponent.
PV Sindhu, who is the favourite to win the tournament, overcame the challenge of Ashmita Chaliha in the last round. She will take on another Thai shuttler Supanida Katethong. She is the sixth seed at the India Open and will be fresh coming into this game, as she was handed a walkover in the last round. It will be a tricky battle for Sindhu, but considering her standards her fans would expect her to reach the final without much difficulty.
In the men’s doubles, all eyes will be on India’s star duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty. The Indian pairing, who are aiming for the gold medal, defeated the Singaporean combo Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Hean. The Satwik-Chirag duo will look to overcome the French challenge of Fabian Delrue and William Villeger. Indian fans will hope that the pair will continue their great form in the India Open and reach the finals.
In women’s doubles, the Indian pairing of Haritha Harinarayan and Ashna Roy will be contending for the title as they take on Thailand’s star duo of Benyapa Aimsaard and Nuntakarn Aimsaard. The Aimsaard sisters are the fourth seeds in the tournament and favourites to reach the finals. But the Indian duo will look to give their all and stage an upset.