Kidambi Srikanth stunned World No 5 Jan O Jorgensen in straight games to move forward to the quarterfinals in the men’s singles event of the Rio 2016 Olympics. He beat the Dane 21-19, 21-19 in the round of 16 and has now set up a clash with China’s Lin Dan.
Srikanth was overall convincing in his attacking play and produced glorious smashes at key moments in the match to set up good moments for himself.
In the first game, the two kept things even with both players hitting some great jump smashes to push their opponent on the backfoot and go for the kill on tame responses. At the break, Srikanth led 11-9.
Srikanth maintained that two point gap throughout the game to stand 19-17 with clever deft touches at the net to keep himself in the good. Jorgensen reduced that to a single point with Srikanth’s backhand push going narrowly wide.
An angled smash by Srikanth brought up two game points. The Dane saved one with Srikanth misjudging a deep shot but converted the next point with an angled half smash across Jorgensen.
In the second game, Srikanth started the better of the two and led 8-4 before Jorgensen won six points in a row to give himself the advantage. But a Srikanth smash kissed the line to give him the lead at the break.
Once again, Jorgensen won points in a row to lead 17-14 before once again Srikanth clawed his way back to make it 17-17 helped by good attacking play and loud cheers of ‘India, India’.
Soon enough, Srikanth brought up two match points at 20-18 with a smash down the line. Jorgensen saved one but couldn’t save the next with Srikanth smashing his way into the next round.
The celebrations were pretty euphoric too with the shuttler punching his chest in joy and rushing to coach Pulella Gopichand to hug him.