Rio 2016: Indian ace shuttler Srikanth beats Mexico's Lino Munoz
Indian ace shuttler Srikanth beats Mexico's Lino Munoz 21-11 21-17 in Round One
Rio de Janeiro: World No 11 Kidambi Srikanth overcame some stiff resistance in the second game from lower ranked Mexican rival Lino Munoz before winning his group H clash in straight games in men’s badminton singles at the Olympic Games on Thursday.
India’s Srikanth Kidambi returns to Mexico’s Lino Munoz at the Rio Olympics on Thursday pic/AP,PTI
Srikanth, the only Indian male shuttler in fray in singles, got past world No 85 Munoz 21-11 21-17 in 41 minutes to give a perfect ending to the sixth day of competitions.
If Srikanth, who had defeated badminton super star Lin Dan to win the Chinese Open two years ago, had expected an easier outing than he encountered, it was belied by the Mexican’s will to fight with good backing from the crowd, especially in the second game.
After taking the opening game comfortably, the cushion of a 16-9 lead proving handy, Srikanth was given a tough fight in the second as he had to rally from behind on quite a few occasions before using his better court craft and experience to see him through. Srikanth led 6-2 but the Mexican drew level and then led 8-6 before the Indian fought back to restore parity. Srikanth was 11-9 ahead at the break but a series of poor returns saw the Indian down 11-12.
Things were neck to neck from this point till 13-all before Munoz again went up to 16-13 with the help of some weak mid-court clears by the Indian that were ‘killed’ without much ado by the Mexican.
Srikanth again caught up at 16, fell behind 16-17 through another weak mid-court clear, but finally brought his game back on track to level the scores at 17 with a superb smash to the forehand side of his rival.
From then on the superiority of the Indian shuttler came to the fore as he came up with successive winners to win the second game 21-17 and the match.
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