Hong Kong Open: Kidambi Srikanth loses in the semi-finals
The Indian hopes at Hong Kong Open ended as Kidambi Srikant suffered a defeat against the local boy, Lee Chik Yu in two straight sets by 9-21, 23-25 of the semi-finals.
It was not an ideal start for the Indian as Lee played with aggression and did not allow Srikanth to play his natural game. At the mid-game interval, Lee had a commanding lead of 11-3. After the interval, Srikanth took few points in succession, but the Hong Kong player demonstrated great drop shots and smashes, which pushed the Indian to the back-foot.
In the second game, Srikanth had a much better start taking an early 5-1 lead. Lee Chik Yu played with positive intent and created pressure on the Indian with brilliant drop shots and smashes. At the interval, Srikanth had a 11-8 lead. Coming after the break, the Indian attacked the Hong Kong player and put the local boy under pressure to take a 20-13 lead. Lee showed great fighting spirit to save 7 match points and levelled the score at 20-20.
Srikanth had chances of winning the second game, but Lee fought it out to make it 23-23. The Indian committed unforced errors which allowed the Hong Kong player take 2 points lead in succession that helped him in winning the game by 25-23.
Srikanth had a golden chance to win the second set, but Lee fighting spirit allowed him to reach his maiden finals at Super 500 level. It augurs well for Srikanth who performed reasonably well in the Hong Kong Open. After reaching the final in Indian Open this year, this performance will boost his confidence for the future competitions.
In this year Hong Kong Open, PV Sindhu lost in the second round to Busnan Ongambrunghphan, while Saina Nehwal crashed out in the first round. Sai Praneeth, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also crashed out in first round. It was a disappointing performance by the Indian shuttlers.
Cover picture credits: Sportskeeda