K Srikanth goes down fighting

Pressure got the better of Srikanth as he committed a number of unforced errors to hand the game to Lee.

Singapore | Updated: April 13, 2014 12:46 pm
Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei celebrates after defeating India's K. Srikanth in their men's singles semifinal at the Singapore Open badminton tournament. (Reuters) Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei celebrates after defeating India’s K. Srikanth in their men’s singles semifinal at the Singapore Open badminton tournament. (Reuters)

Kidambi Srikanth’s impressive campaign at the Singapore Super Series finally came to an end as he went down fighting against top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the men’s singles semifinals. Srikanth fought valiantly against the world number one Lee before running out of steam to lose the contest 19-21 18-21 in 42 minutes at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Lee plays qualifier Simon Santoso of Indonesia in the summit clash. Santoso stunned fifth seed Pengyu Du of China 16-21 21-17 21-17 in the other semifinal. Against Lee, Srikanth made a bright start and gave his fancied opponent a run for his money from the beginning. It was a neck-and-neck affair between Srikanth and Lee in the first game and from 15-16 down at one stage, the Indian rode on his smashes to take a 19-16 lead.

But just when it seemed Srikanth will pocket the first game, pressure got the better of the Thailand Open champion Indian as he committed a number of unforced errors — four in succession — to hand the game to Lee. With a 1-0 lead under his belt, Lee started to play more freely in the second game and took a huge 15-8 lead before extending the margin to 19-12.

But Srikanth was in no mood to give up without a fight as he clawed his way back into the match by pocketing six out of the next seven points to reduce the gap and sent some shivers into Lee’s camp. Lee, however, kept his composure and sealed the affair in his favour by pocketing the next two points. With Srikanth’s loss, India’s challenge came to an end in the USD 300,000 tournament.

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