Singapore: Thailand Open champion, Kidambi Srikanth today got his mojo back as he stunned world number 10 Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam in a thrilling three-game men's singles match to reach the quarterfinals of the USD 300,000 Singapore Super Series here.
After three first round exits in the All England, Swiss Open and India Super Series, Srikanth finally got his form back as he notched up an upset 18-21 21-15 21-8 win over the world championship bronze medallist. Srikanth, who was the finalist at the India Grand Prix Gold earlier this year, will next take on Hong Kong's Yun Hu in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
The Indian has a 1-0 record against Hu, having beaten him at the Maybank Malaysia Open early in the season. Srikanth was little rusty to start with but he fought back from 6-14 to draw level at 16-16 and then moved neck and neck till 18-18. But the Vietnamese soon reeled off three points to earn the bragging rights. In the second game, Srikanth started troubling Tien and opened up a 8-5 lead after an initial battle.
Tien soon clawed back with three points but the Indian managed to keep his rival at bay and slowly carved his way back into the contest. Getting back his confidence, Srikanth was his dominating self in the decider as he didn't give Tien much opportunity and moved into the interval with a massive 11-3 lead.
After the break, Srikanth kept the pressure on his higher-ranked rival and reeled off four points to move to 16-6 before closing the door on Tien with a five-point burst from 17-8 to cruise into the quarterfinals. In the men's doubles competition, Alwin Franchis and Arun Vishnu were humbled by the top seeded Indonesian combo of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 21-17 24-22.
Another Indian pair of Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan, too, failed to cross the second round hurdle as they went down fighting 21-23 17-21 to Gideon Markus Fernaldi and Rizki Amelia Pradipta of Indonesia in the mixed doubles event. Parupalli Kashyap, who rose to the 19th place today in BWF ranking, suffered a close 16-21 21-15 22-20 defeat to World No. 35 Dong Keun Lee of Korea in the men's singles competition yesterday.