India's PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth entered the semi-finals of the French Superseries in Paris on Friday after defeating their respective opponents in the women's and men's singles events respectively. While Sindhu beat Chen Yufei of China 21-14, 21-14 in 41 minutes, Prannoy defeated Korea's Jeon Hyeok Jin 21-16, 21-16 in a match that lasted 47 minutes. Srikanth defeated fourth-seed Shi Yuqi 8-21, 21-19, 21-9 in a see-sawing match that ended after an hour and a minute.
Prannoy became the first Indian man to enter the semi-final of the event ever since it became a Superseries in 2007. He will face compatriot Srikanth in the last four on Saturday. This is also Sindhu's maiden last-four appearance in the tournament. She will next face Japan's fifth-seeded Akane Yamaguchi, who defeated third-seed Sung Ji Hyun 17-21, 21-15, 23-21.
Sindhu, who had defeated Yufei at the World Championships, now leads the Chinese 3-2 in the overall head-to-head record. She had previously faced a defeat against Yufei in the first round of last week's Denmark Open.
Sindhu used her long reach and court coverage to flummox her opponent and get the better of her with ease. Chen, on the other hand, committed several unforced errors to lag behind.
Sindhu, seeded second, enjoyed the upperhand throughout, except for the first 10 points of the opening game where it was a neck-and-neck battle between the two. Once the Indian got a lead at 12-10, there was no looking back as she controlled the game from there on with deft drop shots and down-the-line and crosscourt smashes to race to an 18-12 lead. Yufei managed to grab two points thereafter but unforced errors cost her dearly as she pushed a drop shot wide to hand the the first game to Sindhu in 19 minutes.
In the second game, the Chinese took a 3-0 lead but several errors ensued as Sindhu leveled at 5-5. From there on, Sindhu controlled the proceedings to take a 11-7 lead at the changeover. She then managed to hold on to her lead and pocketed the second game in the next 22 minutes.