NEW DELHI, March 30: Former champion Kidambi Srikanth reached title round after a 17-month drought but PV Sindhu bowed out after losing a close semifinal contest at the USD 350,000 India Open here on Saturday.
Olympic silver medallist Sindhu, who had won the event in 2017, blew four game points in the opening game to go down fighting 21-23, 18-21 to China�s He Bingjiao.
The third seed will face two-time champion Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand in the finals Sunday.
Srikanth had entered the finals of Commonwealth Games last year but he failed to reach the summit clash in any BWF Superseries or BWF World Tour tournament since his French Open win in October, 2017.
The 26-year-old from Guntur on Saturday eked out a 14-21, 21-16, 21-19 triumph over China�s Huang Yuxiang in an engrossing semifinal encounter.
He will face second seed Viktor Axelsen, who beat India�s Parupalli Kashyap 21-11, 21-17, in the final.
In the women�s semifinal, Sindhu managed to hold a 11-8 lead at the break. She kept the shuttle in play, mixing her strokes to push Bingjiao to commit errors to lead 20-16. But Indian committed a heap of unforced errors to allow the Chinese level score.
At 21-21, a lucky net chord put Bingjiao on lead leaving Sindhu frustrated, who sent another one at the net to lose the opening game.
The second game begun on an even keel as the duo rode on each other�s errors to move 8-8 before Sindhu grabbed a 11-9 advantage at the break.
The Indian stayed a step ahead, despite Bingjiao constant threat. At 16-13, a few weak returns from Sindhu allowed the Chinese to level scores. � PTI