K Srikanth significantly enhanced his chances of making his maiden year-ending World Superseries Finals on Friday after reaching the semifinals at the Thaihot China Open beating Japanese Kento Momota 21-17, 23-21.
The 21-year-old Indian, No.16 in the world, is currently on the ninth spot in the Super Series rankings tally for the Dubai season-finale and with 34,100 points from this year’s appearances needs to stave off the chasing pack comprising Takuma Ueda, Hu Yun and Wang Zhengming to make the Top-8, who will head to the UAE in December.
Making his first-ever Super Series semifinals after the 44-minute win over the Japanese, Srikanth has set up a clash with German Marc Zwiebler for a place in the final.
With the last of the 12 Superseries events at Hong Kong left in the season, Srikanth has done well to hang onto his 9th spot after the start of a season when he faced injury.
It will help his chances should he maximise his points at Fuzhou city’s futuristic stadium. The men’s singles boasts of a very open field and plenty of contenders, who could catch up at Hong Kong, where again Srikanth would need to at least clear the first two rounds.
However, it will be a combination of how the Indian performs and how others measure up in finalising the final 8 for the season-ender.
While P Kashyap could not capitalise on his opening set lead, going down to the German Zwiebler 21-18, 18-21, 13-21, Saina Nehwal gritted out against China’s newbie Suo Di eventually winning 21-13, 17-21, 21-5 in just under an hour to make the semis where she meets the talented Liu Xin. Japanese wonderkid Akane Yamaguchi also made it to the last four.