Sports Badminton 17 Aug 2016 Shuttler Kidambi Sri ...

Shuttler Kidambi Srikanth crashes out of Rio Games with quarterfinal loss

PTI
Published Aug 17, 2016, 7:31 pm IST
Updated Aug 17, 2016, 8:32 pm IST
Srikanth came back strongly after losing the first game 21-6, but could not hold his lead in the third game.
Kidambi Srikanth was defeated by World No. 3, Lin Dan, in the quarterfinals at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday. (Photo: AP)
 Kidambi Srikanth was defeated by World No. 3, Lin Dan, in the quarterfinals at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday. (Photo: AP)

Rio de Janeiro: PV Sindhu remains India's lone medal hope in the badminton event after Kidambi Srikanth suffered a fighting loss against two-time defending champion

Lin Dan in the men's singles quarterfinals at the Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

 

Sindhu scripted a stellar 22-20, 21-19 win against former world number one and London Games silver medallist Wang Yihan to enter the women's semifinals. A win against Japan's Nozomo Okuhara in the semifinal tomorrow will assure Sindhu of a historic medal.

However, India's campaign in the men's singles ended on Wednesday after Srikanth, who had beaten the five-time WorldChampion Lin Dan in the 2014 China Open final, suffered a 6-21 21-11 18-21 loss against the World No. 3 in a nerve-wrecking quarterfinal.

Lin Dan will now take on his long-time rival and two-time Olympic silver medalist Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in a mouth-watering semifinal clash. The top seed beat sixth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 21-9 21-15.

 

Srikanth thus remained the second Indian male shuttler to reach the quarterfinals after Parupalli Kashyap achieved the feat at the London Games.

A former World No. 3, Srikanth seemed nervous early on and was totally outclassed in the lop-sided opening game which lasted just 16 minutes.

Srikanth struggled with his net play early on to allow Lin Dan lead 4-1 in the first game. The left-handed Chinese continued to dominate with his controlled stroke play as he engaged in long rallies with the Indian to lead 10-1 after winning a video referral. With Srikanth once again hitting long, Lin Dan entered the interval at 11-1.

 

After the break, Srikanth tried to get a hold on his nerves and played long rally but always ended up hitting a wayward shot as Lin Dan continued to surge ahead. In the end, it was two unforced errors that gifted the game to the Chinese.

There was a visible change in Srikanth's demeanour in the second game as he raced to a 6-3 lead. His strokes got better as he caught the celebrated Chinese off guard a few times with his angled returns and held a six-point advantage at the interval.

Srikanth tried to engage Lin Dan in long rallies with some deep corner returns and then came up with some sublime winners to lead 15-8. The Indian missed a video referral to allow Lin Dan a point but his forehand smash found Lin Dan napping next. The Chinese again hit long as Srikanth led 17-9.

 

A cross court backhand return earned Srikanth another point and with the Chinese going long again, meant he had a 10-game point advantage. One smash went wide but Srikanth roared back into the contest with a superb return at the forecourt.

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