Hong Kong: A profligate Kidambi Srikanth was knocked out of the USD 400,000 Hong Kong Open following a straight-game semifinal defeat to local favourite Lee Cheuk Yiu here on Saturday.
The former world no 1 squandered six game points in the second game to suffer 9-21, 23-25 in a contest that lasted 42-minutes. It was his first semifinal appearance since making the last four at the India Open Super 500. He had finished runner-up at the event.
Srikanth fell back early in the opening game with Lee opening up a 6-1 lead. The Indian tried to catch up but failed to narrow the gap. In the second game, Srikanth stepped up the gas taking an early 5-1 lead. However, Lee soon restored parity.
The shuttlers fought neck and neck with Srikanth surging ahead but the Indian lost momentum, eventually conceding the match.
Srikanth had beaten the 23-year-old Lee in straight games at the India Open last year in their only career meeting. With Srikanth's defeat, the Indian challenge here also came to an end.