French Open: Big guns will boom as Kidambi Srikanth faces HS Prannoy in semis clash

Oct 28:India's biggest smash-hitters Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy will go head-to-head for a place in the French Open Super Series finals in what will be yet another delicious all-India clash.
Srikanth played and lost to B Sai Praneeth at the Singapore Open final. But the Saturday semi at Paris promises to be a cannon-ball fest pitting two of India's most aggressive shuttlers against each other.
Happily, for Indian coaches and head coach Pullela Gopichand, no one will take the coach's chairs at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin as the two boys will be expected to figure this out by themselves.
Srikanth leads the career count 2-1, though the two must've sparred a zillion times against each other in practice at the academy in Hyderabad. All previous matches between the two happened in India, with Srikanth last losing in 2011 Tata Open in a tough three-setter. This was around the time Prannoy had done well in the juniors, while Srikanth was almost an unknown.
In subsequent matches, both in January, at Syed Modi GPG in 2014-5, Srikanth has come trumps.
However, the contest to watch will be Srikanth's unbridled and speedy attack vs Prannoy's back-hand whip smashes. Srikanth has a clear edge at the net with more variations and sheer audacity, but don't discount Prannoy's drive.
Twice this year, he's scalped big names - almost taking out challengers including Chen Long for Srikanth at Indonesia and Australia - and again last week at Denmark, he'd accounted for Lee Chong Wei, before losing in the next round. He's thirsting for a title, realising big scalps don't really amount to championship glory. He's determined to make the French SS count after he evicted Hans-Kristian Vittinghus. The man standing in his path had lost the Singapore SS title to his compatriot - Sai Praneeth, and wont like an encore. Either ways, the semifinals at Paris will be a sumptuous contest between Srikanth's all-round game and Prannoy's big booming one. Agencies
Source: Agencies



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