Saina, Praneeth, beaten in quarters.
Sindhu scales Okuhara peak
Nanjing (China): P.V. Sindhu beat Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in straight games to cruise into the semifinals, assuring herself of a medal in the World Championships here on Friday.
Sindhu defeated Okuhara 21-17, 21-19 in a 58-minute quarterfinal to set up a last four clash with world No. 2 and another Japanese Akane Yamaguchi on Saturday.
The world No. 3 Indian produced a dominant display against her world No. 6 rival as she avenged her defeat in the last edition summit clash.
Sindhu had lost to Okuhara in the final last year 19-21, 22-20, 20-22 in the last edition. It will be Sindhu’s fourth medal from the tournament as she has already took two bronzes and a silver.
Earlier, Olympic champion Carolina Marin bellowed and blustered her way into the badminton World Championships semi-finals on Friday with a devastating victory over India’s Saina Nehwal.
The 25-year-old Spaniard and seventh seed is chasing a third world crown and on this ominous form she looks like she could well get it. Marin plays China’s He Bingjiao in the last four in Nanjing after the sixth seed stunned world number one Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan.
In men’s singles, sixth seed Japan’s Kento Momota brushed aside B. Sai Praneeth 21, 12, 21-12.
Mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy also went down 17-21, 10-21 to top seeds Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong of China in the quarters.
Marin destroyed 10th-seeded Nehwal, who cut a demoralised figure by the end of this 21-6, 21-11 mauling. The Spaniard is particularly vocal and demonstrative on court, shouting or screaming in Spanish after every winning point and before serving too.
One member of the audience took to imitating her.
Nehwal, a former number one who looked shell-shocked afterwards.
The strongly fancied Tai tasted just a second defeat in 35 matches, a run that brought five titles and cemented her status as the woman to beat in Nanjing.
But the 24-year-old was sloppy at times against He, making a series of unforced errors, particularly at the net, going out of the tournament over three unpredictable games. China’s He emerged after just under an hour to win 21-18, 7-21, 21-13.
Holder Axelsen beaten Holder Viktor Axelsen said that he made “way too many mistakes” as China’s Chen Long dumped the Dane out. Olympic champion Chen will play Shi Yuqi in an all-Chinese semifinal following his 21-19, 21-11 victory over Axelsen.