As it happened, Swiss Open 2021 semi-finals: PV Sindhu vs Carolina Marin final confirmed; Srikanth and Chirag-Satwik crash out

PV Sindhu was the only Indian who crossed the semi-final hurdle. Highlights from Day 5 of Swiss Open 2021!

By Utathya Nag

9:50 PM IST - That's a wrap from Swiss Open 2021 semi-finals

PV Sindhu emerged as the sole bright spark from the Indian ranks in the Swiss Open 2021 semi-finals.

The 25-year-old PV Sindhu sailed past Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt with little trouble to set up a final against world No. 3 Carolina Marin – a rematch of the Rio 2016 Olympics badminton women’s singles final.

The arch-rivals vying for the Swiss Open 2021 title will be the headline event during the finals on Sunday.

Men’s singles challenger, Kidambi Srikanth, meanwhile went down to world No. 2 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

Despite a straight-game loss, Srikanth did produce some brilliant badminton towards the later phases of the second game to make Axelsen sweat. The fightback, however, came a bit too late to make any difference to the final result.

Men’s doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, meanwhile, submitted rather tamely to Danish opponents Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.

Tune back to the Olympic Channel for the final day of the Swiss Open. A PV Sindhu vs Carolina Marin final is not a match any badminton fan can afford to miss.

9:30 PM IST - Satwik-Chirag's Swiss journey ends

End of the road for Satwik and Chirag at the Swiss Open 2021.

The Indian duo, on the day, failed to match their Danish opponents' intensity and discipline. A big disappointment for the second seeds.

Score: Satwik/Chirag 10-21, 17-21 Astrup/Rasmussen

9:18 PM IST - Neck and neck in Game 2

Satwik-Chirag has done better in the second game to take a lead, but only just.

A solitary point separates the two teams going into the mid-game break. Can the Indians break away?

Score: Satwik/Chirag 10-21, 11-10 Astrup/Rasmussen

9:06 PM IST - Chirag-Satwik trail

The Indians now need a repeat of their quarter-final fightback.

The Danish pair cruises through in the first game to hold the advantage.

Score: Satwik/Chirag 10-21, 11-10 Astrup/Rasmussen

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8:55 PM IST - Slow start for the Indians

Chirag and Satwik haven't quite got going so far.

The Danes are working well together and seem more aware in the first game.

Score: Satwik/Chirag 6-11 Astrup/Rasmussen

8:43 PM IST - Satwik-Chirag up next

Men's doubles semi-final next, with Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty out to carve a road right to the final.

Both teams are on court.

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8:35 PM IST - Close race to the finish but Marin ends on top

Chochuwong certainly gave Marin a run for her place there.

The Spaniard edged out the Thai player 21-19 in the final game to set up a title match against Sindhu.

The final will be a rematch of the famous clash between Marin and Sindhu in the Rio 2016 gold medal over the years. The two have also been involved in an epic rivalry over the years.

Read more aboutt the PV Sindhu vs Carolina Marin rivalry here.

Score: Carolina Marin 21-15, 20-22, 21-19 Pornpawee Chochuwong

8:05 PM IST - Chochuwong forces a decider against Marin

Chochuwong is not going out without a fight against the world No. 3. The Thai shuttler survived two match points and forced a third game.

Score: Carolina Marin 21-15, 20-22 Pornpawee Chochuwong

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7:40 PM IST - Marin favourite to join Sindhu in the final

While we wait, world No. 3 Carolina Marin looks the overwhelming favourite to join PV Sindhu in the final.

The Spanish ace seems to have the measure of Pornpawee Chochuwong in the other women's final and leads 1-0 against the Thai player.

Score: Carolina Marin 21-15 Pornpawee Chochuwong

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6:45 PM IST - Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty vs Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen head-to-head

The final Indian match of the day will involve men's pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty locking horns against Denmark's Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.

The Danish team holds a 2-1 head-to-head record against the Indians but the last meeting - at the French Open 2019 - went Chirag-Satwik's way.

With coach Mathias Boe in their corner, the Indian duo will have all the insight they need on their opponents. Boe was both Astrup and Rasmussen's teammate in the Thomas Cup 2016-winning Denmark team.

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6:06 PM IST - Exceptional fight from Srikanth falls short

An incredible last stand by Srikanth at Basel.

With odds stacked against him, the Indian took the game to the big Dane in game 2. A flurry of drop shots forcing Axelsen to lift followed by threaded smashes down the sidelines helped the Indian erase the deficit and bring the score level at 18-18.

However, Srikanth's gambit was always going to be a risky one and his last two smashes landed just out, handing Axelsen a nervy win in game 2.

A shriek of delight from the world No. 2 at the end signified how relieved he was at the game not extending to game 3.

Score: Kidambi Srikanth 13-21, 19-21 Viktor Axelsen

5:50 PM IST - Looks glum for Srikanth

Axelsen has continued with his strategy of drawing Srikanth into long rallies and forcing mistakes out of him.

The second game already has seen some extended rallies with the longest one featuring 42 shots.

Score: Kidambi Srikanth 13-21, 3-11 Viktor Axelsen

5:40 PM IST - More confidence from Srikanth but not enough

The Indian shuttler put up a far stronger stand after the restart, but needs a lot more of it in the second game against the current world No. 2.

Do-or-die for Srikanth now.

Score: Kidambi Srikanth 13-21 Viktor Axelsen

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5:30 PM IST - Axelsen off the blocks

It's been a poor start from the Indian.

Axelsen's rock-solid defence hasn't let Indian have any opportunities to build up any momentum. The Dane looks a tad too comfortable and something needs to change for Srikanth fast if he is to salvage the match.

Score: Kidambi Srikanth 4-11 Viktor Axelsen

5:20 PM IST – Kidambi Srikanth vs Viktor Axelsen head-to-head

Srikanth’s run-ins with Axelsen date back to 2015, with the Indian emerging on top in their first two meetings.

Since then, though, the Dane has dominated, winning five against Srikanth’s one, taking Axelsen’s head-to-head record against Srikanth to 5-3.

The last time they met was at the 2019 India Open final – a match Axelsen won comfortably 21-7, 22-20.

Srikanth last beat the Dane at the 2017 Denmark Open quarter-finals and went on to win the tournament.

Both players are on the court warming up.

5:15 PM IST - Comfortable win for Sindhu

PV Sindhu stepped on the gas even harder after the restart. The Indian was firmly in control in the second game, picking off Blichfeldt, almost at will, with her arsenal of shots.

The Indian moves onto the final - her first since winning the BWF World Championships 2019 final at the same venue.

Another triumphant walk down the hallways of St. Jakobshalle in Basel awaits Sindhu on Sunday?

Score: PV Sindhu 22-20, 21-10 Mia Blichfeldt

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5:07 PM IST - Sindhu in the zone

Mia Blichfeldt, expectedly, tried to raise the tempo in the second game and produced some nice plays but Sindhu has kept pace and then some.

The world No. 7 Sindhu's court coverage has been exceptional, blunting out Blichfeldt's trademark flair.

Some cheeky flicks and lifts have been the cherry and cream on top.

Score: PV Sindhu 22-20, 11-6 Mia Blichfeldt

4:55 PM IST - Good fight by Blichfeldt but Sindhu holds on

Sindhu started well after the restart and build up a 17-12 lead, frustrating Blichfeldt with her willingness to drag rallies out against the attacking Dane.

Blichfeldt , though, got in the groove and scored five on the bounce to bring it back to level terms. Sindhu fought back to build up a 20-17 gap.

Blichfeldt didn't go down easily and saved three game points but Sindhu's perseverance saw her through. The Indian won the first game 22-20.

Score: PV Sindhu 22-20 Mia Blichfeldt

4:45 PM IST - Sindhu with her nose ahead

It's been a tense start to the match.

Blichfeldt is giving no quarter while attacking Sindhu at the front court area, but the Indian, too, has showcased some clever shots to pick up regular points.

A solid rally of points towards the end of the midgame break sees the world No. 7 just ahead.

Score: PV Sindhu 11-8 Mia Blichfeldt

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4:23 PM IST - PV Sindhu enters Court 1 for her clash against Mia Blichfeldt

India's PV Sindhu is on Court 1 and ready for action against her Danish opponent.

The Indian looked sluggish during her Thailand Open clash against the Dane in January. Sindhu will look to make an early statement in this match.

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3:20 PM IST – PV Sindhu vs Mia Blichfeldt head-to-head

PV Sindhu will get the ball rolling for India in the second match on Court 1.

Sindhu enjoys a 3-1 head-to-head supremacy over Blichfeldt, having beaten her at the 2019 India Open, Singapore Open and Indonesia Open.

Their last meeting at the Yonex Thailand Open in January, however, was won by the Dane as she knocked the Indian out in the first round.

The last two meetings (2019 Indonesia Open and 2021 Yonex Thailand Open) between PV Sindhu and Mia Blichfeldt took three games to conclude, which could indicate that a close match might be on offer today.

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2:50 PM IST – Swiss Open semi-final schedule for Indian badminton players

Women’s singles

PV Sindhu vs Mia Blichfeldt (Denmark)

Men’s singles

Kidambi Srikanth vs Viktor Axelsen (Denmark)

Men’s doubles

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty vs Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Denmark)

All India matches are scheduled on Court 1.

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Indian badminton players are set for an all-Danish challenge at the Swiss Open 2021 semi-finals on Saturday.

Indian women's ace PV Sindhu has been in fine touch at Basel, dispatching every opponent she has come up against till now with ease.

The Indian is yet to drop a game in the competition but will be up against the toughest challenge so far when she faces world No. 12 Mia Blichfeldt.

A win for PV Sindhu may pit her against arch-rival and current world No. 3 Carolina Marin, provided the Spaniard gets past her semi-final opponent Pornpawee Chochuwong.

All the women's singles top four seeds are in the semi-final action on Day 5.

In men's singles, Kidambi Srikanth's resolve to reach the final will be put to the test against Danish superstar Viktor Axelsen.

Axelsen, a former Olympic bronze medallist and the current world No. 2, is the top-seeded player in the competition. Srikanth is the fourth seed.

Men's doubles, meanwhile, will have Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty facing off against the Danish pairing of Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.

Satwik-Chirag got past their quarter-final hurdle after a come-from-behind victory on Friday and can take confidence from the way they turned the tables on their Malaysian opponents.