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Badminton worlds: Sindhu, Srikanth, Lakshya advance to third round

Defending champions PV Sindhu, former World No 1 Srikanth Kidambi, and young Lakshya Sen cruised into the semifinals of the BWF World Championships here on Tuesday. While Sindhu won her women's singles second round match in straight games, Lakshya Sen and Srikanth had to go through three games to advance into the men's singles third round.

Sindhu, who had got a bye in the first round, defeated Martina Repiska of Slovakia 21-7, 21-9 in just 24 minutes. Things proved a bit difficult for Sen and Srikanth.

Sen quelled a second game fightback to defeat Kenta Nishimoto of Japan 22-20, 15-21, 21-18 in one hour and 22 minutes and reach the third round while Srikanth came back after losing the first game to overcome Li Shi Feng of China 15-21, 21-18,21-17 in one hour and nine minutes and advanced to the next stage.

India's top men's doubles pair of Ritwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty too advanced to the next round, defeating Lee Jhe-Huei and Yang Po-Hsuan of Chinese Taipei in the second-round match, winning 27-25, 21-17. However, there was no luck for the mixed doubles pair of Saurabh Sharma and Anoushka Parikh as they were ousted in straight games by Malaysia's Tan Kian Meng and Ai Pei Jing 21-8, 21-18.

It was Sindhu who came up with the best performance among the Indian players, cruising past Martina in two games. Sindhu took lead but Martina bridged the margin at 4-5. But Sindhu, the 26-year-old World No 7, won 12 consecutive points to extend her lead to 17-5 before going on to wrap up the game at 21-7.

The second game followed a similar script as Sindhu opened a 6-0 early lead. She maintained her upper hand and won it 21-9.

Things were a lot difficult for former World No. 1 Srikanth as he lost the first game. The 28-year-old remained neck-and-neck with his Chinese opponent in the first game before Li Shi Feng four points consecutively in the end to win the first game 21-15.

In the second game, the shuttler born in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, broke away from 9-8 to open a handy lead at 16-8 lead and then went on to win the level scores by winning the second game 21-18 after the Chinese players made it a closer affair.

In the decider, Srikanth trailed Li Shi Feng by a few points at the change of end and reduced the margin to 13-12 before wrapping up the match at 21-17.

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