Sports

Srikanth knocked out of Hong Kong Open

Hong Kong, Nov 16 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 11/16/2019 9:33:48 AM IST

India’s campaign at Hong Kong Open Super 500 came to an end on Saturday after Kidambi Srikanth was ousted in the men’s singles semi-final.

Srikanth lost the semi-final in straight games to lower-ranked Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong in just 42 minutes.

Local hope Lee saved 7 game points as he recovered from a 15-20 deficit to take the 2nd game 25-23 and wrap up the semi-finals in straight games.

Luck favoured out-of-form Kidambi Srikanth in Hong Kong as the India shuttler got a first-round bye after World No. 1 Kento Momota withdrew from their early meeting. Srikanth then defeated compatriot Sourabh Verma in a 3-game battle. In the quarter-finals, Srikanth benefited from reigning Olympic champion Chen Long’s retirement after the 1st game that he had won comfortably.

On Saturday, Srikanth struggled to match Lee’s pace in the 1st game. He was blown away 9-21 in less than quarter of an hour. Srikanth managed to claw back into the match with a good start to the 2nd game. It looked like he would take the match to the decider when he was leading 20-15 but the Indian shuttler struggled to close out the match and eventually exited the tournament.

Srikanth had reached the semi-final of a tournament on tour for the first time since India Open in March. A win would have boosted his confidence but the dip in form was on display when he struggled to convert any of his 7 game points against Lee.

It was a disappointing campaign overall for Indian shuttlers in Hong Kong as the likes of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu suffered yet another early exit. In men’s singles, the likes of HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma, Parupalli Kashyap and Saurabh Verma were shown the door early.

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