Denmark Open: Kidambi Srikanth Loses to 2nd Seed Chou Tien Chen in Quarter-finals
Kidambi Srikanth at Denmark Open. (Photo Credit: AP)
Kidambi Srikanth bowed out of Denmark Open Super 750 on Friday after a three-game loss to second seed Chou Tien Chen and with that the Indian challenge at the tournament came to an end as well. After Lakshya Sen, Shubhankar Sharma and Ajay Jayaram were sent packing in the previous rounds, Srikanth was the only Indian left in the fray.
On Friday, Srikanth battled with Chou for an hour and two minutes but lost 22-20, 13-21, 16-21. Despite a solid first game, it were the mistakes of the second game and then the loss of concentration after break in the decider that cost the Indian.
Srikanth and Chou both displayed a well-stitched all-court play in the first game and stayed neck-and-neck throughout. Chou had a slender 11-10 lead at the break and went 17-15 up but Srikanth fought back to get three straight points to go up 18-17.
Chou then went up 19-18 and let out a massive scream but Srikanth, at this point, decided to go on all-out attack and equalised at 19-19. Srikanth also saved a game point, displaying his improved backhand and then, with an attacking display where he stood on the front foot throughout, took the first game 22-20.
The second game started in the same vein with both shuttlers making each other run all across the court. The story of the match remained the same where whoever took the first initiative in the rally won the point eventually.
With Chou 8-7 up, Srikanth displayed stunning defence making Chou play so many more shuttles than the Taiwanese would have expected. However, with a smash down the line, he eventually won the point.
Srikanth made a callous net shot straight outside the backline to give Chou a 3-point lead but showed some beautiful play at the net in the next rally to make it 8-10. He earned the next point with a smash down the line but made a net error next and Chou went into the break with an 11-9 advantage.
Srikanth got the first point after the break with a smash on Chou's forehand. However, Chou took the attack in the next point and Srikanth sent the shuttle wide. Chou then made it two points in a row as Srikanth sent the shuttle wide again.
He then made an error with the backhand smash as Chou went up 14-10. Errors started coming thick and fast from Srikanth's racquet as Chou went up 16-10 and the Indian needed some luck at the net to reach 11 points.
In no time, Chou ran away with the second game 21-13 with Srikanth losing complete control of the proceedings and making simple errors.
Chou got the first two points of the deciding game after Srikanth first made a judgement error and then sprayed the shuttle wide. He, however, then equalised at 2-2.
Chou then pulled away to a 7-3 lead with some attacking play. Srikanth was thereafter able to reduce the gap before Chou brought took an 11-7 lead into the break.
Even after the break, Chou continued his surge to go up 14-7. Srikanth continued to fight with a couple of points but that hardly troubled Chou who ran off to an 18-9 lead.
Chou had a 19-11 lead but Srikanth fought his way back by making Chou run around the court and finding the gaps to make it 15-19. However, Chou got to game point and then gave away just one point before taking the decider 21-16 with a massive roar.