Dubai Super Series: Sour end for Kidambi Srikanth
Indian shuttler suffers second consecutive loss as he exits Dubai Super Series
Kidambi Srikanth slumped to his second consecutive defeat after losing to Chinese Taipei's Chou Tien Chen in straight games, crashing out of the Dubai Super Series Final here yesterday. Even though Srikanth still has a match left in Group 'B', he virtually has no chance of making the next stage. Srikanth, who suffered a defeat to World No. 1 and defending champion Viktor Axelsen in his opening match yesterday, failed to improve upon his game and went down 21-18, 21-18. The World No. 7 Taiwan took 43 minutes to stun the fourth ranked Indian in a Group 'B' men's singles match. Srikanth will face All England Open finalist Shi Yuqi of China today in his last and final match of Group 'B'.
India's Kidambi Srikanth failed to bring out his top game against Chinese Taipei's Chou Tien Chen during his 21-18, 21-18 loss yesterday. Pic/PTI
Shi Yuqi, who had defeated Chou in his opening match on Wednesday, eked out a 13-21, 21-18, 21-17 win over World No. 1 and defending champion Viktor Axelsen yesterday to top Group 'B'. The in-form Shi Yuqi will be hoping to beat Srikanth also today, but even if the Indian manage to get the better of the World No. 8 Chinese in straight games, it would not be possible for him to make the cut. Whoever between Axelsen and Chou wins today, will advance to the knockouts as the second player from Group 'B' after Shi Yuqi.
Srikanth failed to bring out his top game again as he lagged behind from the very beginning. Having conceded a 0-5 lead in the opener, Srikanth was always playing the catch up game and eventually lost the first game 18-21. Although he put up a better performance in the second game, Srikanth could not sustain the momentum till the end. Despite leading 17-14 at one stage, Srikanth let his Taiwanese opponent gain three straight points to catch him at 17-17. At 18-18, the Taiwan player reeled off three crucial points to wrap up the match in style.
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