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Malaysia Open: Srikanth knocked out in quarters

April 05, 2019 16:44 IST

Kidambi Srikanth blew a 16-11 advantage in the opening game to eventually lose the quarters

IMAGE: Kidambi Srikanth blew a 16-11 advantage in the opening game to eventually lose the quarters. Photograph: Twitter

Kidambi Srikanth suffered a straight-game loss to Olympic champion Chen Long of China to bow out of the men's singles quarter-finals at the Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

The eighth seeded Indian, who had reached the final of India Open last week, blew a huge advantage in the opening game to eventually lose 18-21, 19-21. 

This was Srikanth's fourth quarter-final of the season.

 

Srikanth blew a 16-11 advantage in the opening game, while he fought back in the second game from 7-11 down to level scores at 19-19, before ending up on the losing side.

The 26-year-old had a 1-5 head-to-head record against Chen Long, whom he had defeated in their last meeting at the 2017 Australian Open.

The Chinese showed great defence, playing some exceptional shots like a 'tweener' return to keep the spectators entertained at the Kuala LumpurSportsCity.

In the first game, the Indian opened up a 11-7 lead at the first break. He kept his nose ahead till 16-11 before Chen started slowly clawing back into the contest.

The Chinese drew parity at 17-17 before sealing the game with a cross court return to leave the Indian stranded.

In the second game, Srikanth kept himself close to the Chinese before Chen unleashed a down-the-line smash to grab a 11-7 lead at the breather.

Srikanth made simple errors like misjudging line calls, hitting wide and long and also mistiming shots as Chen led 16-8.

The Indian won a long rally when Chen went wide and then the Chinese lost a couple of more points near the net before attacking the Indians backhand to reach 17-11.

Srikanth kept breathing down Chen's neck and reduced the margin to 17-18 with the Chinese making in a heap of errors.

The Indian levelled the scores at 18-all and was 19-19 when Chen hit another long shot.

But the Chinese sent one at the backline to move to match point and sealed it when a fighting Srikanth dived full stretch but couldn't keep the shuttle in.

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