Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap produced another gutsy performance to enter the men’s singles semifinals at the USD 75,000 Canada Open Super 100 tournament here. Sixth seed Kashyap, a former World top 10 player, outwitted France’s Lucas Claerbout 12-21 23-21 24-22 in a quarterfinal lasting an hour and 16 minutes. Kashyap, who had reached the semifinals at India Open Super 500 tournament, next faces Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei, who is seeded fourth. However, reigning national champion Sourabh Verma couldn’t extended his run in the tournament, losing 15-21 11-21 to Li Shi Feng of China in a 38-minute match.
Kashyap had found the going tough initially as Lucas opened up a 5-2 lead in the opening game and then stayed ahead. The Indian reduced the deficit to 9-10 at one stage but Lucas kept moving ahead to grab the opening game comfortably. In the second, Kashyap opened up a 8-4 lead early on but Lucas managed a slender 11-10 advantage at the break. After a tooth and nail battle, it was Kashyap, who held his nerves to bounce back and take match to the decider despite squandering three game points.
In the decider, Lucas zoomed to a 6-1 lead and kept his nose ahead till 18 when Kashyap clawed back and grabbed two match points. The Frenchman saved both to make it 20-20. Kashyap held the advantage again but Lucas erased it and earned a match point himself at 22-21. But an experienced Kashyap showed great nerves to grab three straight points and seal his place in the semifinals.
Kashyap, 32, will fancy his chances of reaching the summit clash as he has beaten Wang twice in the past. He had defeated the World No 30 at the India Open in March. The last time Kashyap had reached the finals of an event was at the Austrian International challenger last year.