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Sindhu enters French Open semifinal, Lakshya ousted


India’s double Olympic medallist P. V. Sindhu continued her impressive run at the French Open badminton tournament by sailing into the women’s singles semifinals with a straight-game win over Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan here on Friday.

Sindhu, seeded third, scripted a convincing 21-14, 21-14 win over eighth seeded in 38 minutes to extend her dominating head-to-head record against the Thai to 14-1.

It was a clinical display from Sindhu as she zoomed to a 5-1 lead initially before moving to 11-6 at the break. She continued in the same vein after the interval, jumping to 18-7 to eventually pocket the opening game comfortably.

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The second game turned out to be a close battle with Sindhu and Busanan engaging in a fierce battle. However, Sindhu broke off at 8-8 to grab a two-point advantage at the interval. The Indian once again stepped up after the break to climb to 16-10 and 20-12. Busanan saved two match points before Sindhu sealed the contest.

The 26-year-old from Hyderabad had beaten Busanan at Denmark Open also, last week. Sindhu, the reigning world champion, defeated Denmark’s Line Christophersen, ranked 24th in the world 21-19, 21-9 on late Thursday night to enter the quarters.

The world number seven Indian will next take on Japan’s world number 15 Sayaka Takahashi in the last four on Saturday.

– Lakshya exits –

Lakshya Sen’s fine run ended in the men’s singles quarterfinal as he lost 17-21, 15-21 to Korea’s Heo Kwanghee in 43 minutes. The 20-year-old from Almora had notched up a comfortable straight game win over Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew to grab a place in the last eight.

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Men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also couldn’t cross the quarterfinal hurdle, losing 21-18, 18-21, 17-21 to fourth seeded Malaysian combine of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik. On Thursday, Satwik and Chirag beat MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila 15-21, 21-10, 21-19 in an all-Indian clash to reach the quarterfinal.

Men’s singles player Sourabh Verma bowed out of the competition after losing 12-21, 9-21 to Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in the second round.

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