India’s Parupalli Kashyap, who had booked an Olympic berth Fiday, put up a valiant fight in his semi-final tie against South Korea’s Wan Ho Shon but went down in three sets at the India Open Super Series badminton here Saturday.
Kashyap qualified for the London Olympics Friday courtesy a walkover by third-seeded Chinese Chen Jin in the quarter-final. However he couldn’t add to his ecstasy as he was defeated 14-21, 21-19, 16-21 by the South Korean in a match lasting slightly more than an hour.
The world No.30 was hot on the heels of the South Korean, who defeated Peter Gade of Denmark on the previous round, but fell away at the half-way point as Wan took control.
Kashyap, to his credit, came back strongly in the second. Wan led a large part of the game but the unseeded Indian came back to win four points in a row to take the game, thus sending the match into a decider.
In third game, Kashyap had the upper hand initially leading 10-8 but the South Korean seemed to wake up from a slumber and raced ahead a decisive 18-12 lead.
“In the decider, I was controlling the points well. But made quite a few errors and that cost me,” said Kashyap.
In the final, Wan will now face top seed and Malaysia's World No.1 Lee Chong Wei. The Malaysian thrashed Chinese Taipei’s Jen Hao Hsu 21-13, 21-7.
"It was an easy match. I have come back from an injury and happy to have reached the final. The India Open proved to be a good tournament for me as I defeated Taufik Hidayat in the earlier round," said the Malaysian super star.
In the women’s singles, Germany’s Juliane Schenk continued her dream run in the tournament, dislodging another Chinese shuttler. The World No.8, who beat top seed Shixian Wang of China in the quarter-final, accounted for qualifier Xiao Jia Chen 21-16, 21-13 in 42 minutes to set up a final date against Asian champion Li Xuerui, who received a walkover from compatriot Jiang Yangjiao in the other semi-final.
Juliane said: "I have beaten two Chinese in two rounds, they are great wins," Juliane commented after the match. The Chinese players always have special skills, they are always focussed. Winning against them always adds to the confidence. I played aggressively from the start.....it helped me to win.
Juliane, however, refused to comment when asked on Jiang's decision to pull out of the other semi-final.
"But we know such things are happening," Juliane quipped.
Results (all semi-finals):
Men’s singles: Lee Chong Wei (MAS) bt Jen Hao Hsu (TPE) 21-13, 21-7; Wan Ho Shon (KOR) bt P. Kashyap (IND) 21-14, 19-21, 21-16.
Women’s singles: Juliane Schenk (GER) bt Xiao Jia Chen (CHN) 21-16, 21-13; 2-Li Xuerui (CHN) bt Jiang Yangjiao (CHN) walkover
Mixed doubles: Sudket Prapakamol/Saralee Thoungthongkam (THA) bt Tao Jiaming/Xia Huan 21-19, 22-20; Tontowi Ahmad/Liliana Natsir (INA) bt Yong Dae Lee/Yeon Seong Yoo (KOR) 21-7, 21-14