The Indian badminton men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankiredddy and Chirag Shetty, on Friday, cruised to the semi-finals of the 2024 French Open Super 750 in Paris.

Lakshya Sen also made it through to the semi-finals in the men’s singles event after beating Loh Kean Yew of Singapore 19-21, 21-15, 21-13. Meanwhile, PV Sindhu’s campaign ended after a tight 24-22, 17-21, 18-21 loss to second seed Chen Yu Fei of China.

The world No 1 pair from India defeated Thailand’s Supak Jomkoh and Kittinupong Kedren 21-19, 21-13 in straight games to enter the final four stage.

The Thai pair, ranked 32nd in the world, got the better start in the match and enjoyed a healthy 11-6 lead at the first mid-game interval as Rankireddy and Shetty struggled for rhythm.

However, the momentum shifted post the break as the Indians came out with a new strategy to counter their opponents. Rankireddy and Shetty stopped lifting the shuttle altogether and increased the pace of the rallies.

Jomkoh and Kittinupong had no answers to the flat, fast-paced returns at the net and struggled to keep up as the Indians drew level at 12-12.

A bit of drama followed soon as the chair umpire lost track of the score, but Rankireddy and Shetty continued unbothered to pocket the first game 21-19.

The Asian Champions carried forward the momentum in the second game and further asserted their dominance as they pocketed it 21-13 without any troubles and raced to the semi-finals in 42 minutes.

Rankireddy and Shetty will now face off against the reigning world champions and third seeds Kang Ming Hyuk and Seo Seung Jae on Saturday for a spot in the final.

PV Sindhu bows out

Earlier in the day, China’s Chen Yu Fei cut short PV Sindhu’s return to the BWF World Tour with a 22-24, 21-17, 21-18 win in a marathon contest.

The 28-year-old Sindhu, whose last World Tour appearance was coincidentally at the 2023 French Open in October, was pushed into the backfoot early on as she trailed 6-11 at the first mid-game break.

The double Olympic medallist, however, fought back to draw level at 17-17 before earning a game point. A 45-shot rally saw Chen equalise at 20-20, but Sindhu kept at it to eventually win the opening game 24-22 with a drop shot from deep in the court.

The well executed drop shots from Sindhu were the hallmark of the contest as the Indian pocketed points at will with it. She kept the world No 2 on her toes throughout and was level at 13-13 in the second game, before Chen went on a run of five points to open up a lead and later force a decider.

Despite having played two long matches in the first two rounds, Sindhu’s intensity never dropped in the decider. She trailed 10-11 at the change of ends.

The reigning world champion Chen, however, powered through in the latter stages as Sindhu bowed out after a 92-minute long clash.

In the men’s singles match, Sen had to work hard in a match that lasted 78 minutes against Loh. Sen lost the opening game 19-21 but stormed back into the match, winning the second game 21-15.

In the deciding game, Sen took a 4-0 lead to set the tone for the game. He led throughout the game, at one stage leading 8-1 and later 13-6. The 22-year-old from Almora had built enough momentum to keep him well-placed in the match before sealing the win by clinching the decider 21-13.

Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand lost to top seeds Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan of China 18-21, 7-21 to end their run in the tournament.