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Rediff.com  » Sports » Srikanth rallies to beat Lin Dan and enter quarter-finals

Srikanth rallies to beat Lin Dan and enter quarter-finals

October 19, 2018 07:15 IST

Kidambi Srikanth

IMAGE: Kidambi Srikanth will meet compatriot Sameer Verma in the quarter-finals of the Denmark Open. Photograph: Claus Fisker/Reuters

Kidambi Srikanth staged a magnificent recovery to beat five-time World champion Lin Dan of China 18-21, 21-17, 21-16 and enter the men's singles quarter-finals at the Denmark Open on Thursday night.

The No. 6-ranked Indian ace will meet compatriot Sameer Verma on Friday.

 

Verma held his nerve to get the better of Asian Games champion Jonathan Christie of Indonesia 23-21, 6-21, 22-20 in another second round match earlier in the day, after Saina Nehwal had defeated world No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan for the first time in four years to enter the women's singles quarter-finals.

Srikanth, who had lost three of his four meetings against the now No. 14-ranked Dan, was caught on the wrong foot early in the match as the Chinese raced to an early lead. The defending champion, however, gradually got into his stride and matched Dan, whom he beat at the China Open in 2014 to win the title.

After losing the opening game narrowly, he called the shots after taking a 5-1 lead in the second. The Chinese engaged Srikanth in long rallies to cut the deficit before the scores ran neck and neck till 11. Four straight points gave the Indian a 16-11 lead, which he maintained to take the   second game 21-17 and level the match score.

In the decider, Srikanth again started off well and established a 10-5 lead. With the Chinese appearing to run out of steam the Indian repeatedly scored with deft placements to take match-point at 15 and sealed the issue with a low smash.