India’s two-time Olympic medallist P.V.Sindhu stormed into the semifinals of the Madrid Spain Masters 2023, beating Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt in straight games here on Friday, March 31. On a mixed day for India, Kidambi Srikanth crashed out of the BWF Super 300 badminton tournament, losing to Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in a quarterfinal match.Sindhu got into the act after a tight start as she defeated Blichfeldt 21-14, 21-17 in a 40-minute encounter, registering her sixth win against the Danish player.Sindhu, the silver medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics and bronze medallist in Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, has recently dropped out of the top 10 in the BWF World Rankings. The 27-year-old Sindhu has recently returned from the injury she suffered during the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and has had indifferent results in the events she has played in 2023 so far.In the semifinals, Sindhu will take on Yeo Jia Min of Singapore, who defeated American eighth-seed Beiwen Zhang 21-16, 21-14, After a tight start to the match, Sindhu, the world No.11 and second seed, won six consecutive points to finish off the opening game and take the lead.Blichfeldt, 19th in the latest BWF rankings, took the fight to Sindhu in the second game and raced to a 12-6 lead.The Indian former World Champion, however, stepped up to level up the game at 16-all before ending the match in straight games. In the men’s quarterfinal, former World No.1 Srikanth bowed ou’ from the men’s singles competition following a 21-18, 21-15 loss to top-seed Kenta Nishimoto of Japan.Srikanth, who slipped to the 21st place in the latest BWF rankings, went toe-to-toe with the Japanese shuttler in the opening game and trailed Nishimoto by a single point at 17-16.
The Indian badminton player, however, lost the plot at the crucial juncture to go 1-0 downSrikanth, seeded fifth in the tournament, succumbed without much resistance in the second game as Nishimoto wrapped up the 41-minute affair with ease.