Korea Masters: Indian Challenge Over as Srikanth, Sameer Knocked Out in 2nd Round
Korea Masters 2019: Kidambi Srikanth lost to Kanta Tsuneyama while Sameer Verma was shocked by local Kim Donghun.
Sameer Verma (L) and Kidambi Srikanth were both knocked out. (Photo Credit: Twitter/Reuters)
Gwangju: India's challenge at the Korea Masters ended on Thursday after both Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma lost their respective second round matches to lower-ranked opponents.
Srikanth, ranked 11th in the world, lost 14-21, 19-21 to world No.14 Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan in just 37 minutes to crash out of the tournament.
World No.20 Sameer, on the other hand, was absolutely stunned by local player Kim Donghun, who is ranked 112th in the world. Sameer was downed by Donghun 19-21, 12-21 in only 39 minutes.
Srikanth and Tsuneyama began the match neck-and-neck and at one point, the Indian even led 10-8. However, the Japanese picked up six consecutive points from there to take a 14-10 lead.
Srikanth was unable to hit back at the Japanese as Tsuneyama grabbed the first game with four points in a row.
The second game saw a similar story, where Tsuneyama won four straight points from 9-9 to take a 13-9 lead. However, trailing 12-17, Srikanth managed to string together a run of four straight points to make it 16-17.
Tsuneyama, however, held his nerves to bring up match points at 20-18. Srikanth saved one before the Japanese wrapped up the proceedings.
Sameer was shocked by Donghun, who is placed 92 places below him in the BWF rankings. Sameer started the match well and took a 9-6 lead but the local won the next four points to lead 10-9.
Sameer fought back to lead 14-12 only for the South Korean to string together a stretch of four points again to take a 16-14 lead.
It remained close from there but at 19-19, Donghun brought up a game points and wrapped it up in one attempt.
The second game saw the players stay close till 10-10 after which Donghun pulled away to take a 14-10 lead. Sameer could never mount a comeback from there as the South Korea bagged five points in a row to advance to the quarter-finals.
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