Kidambi Srikanth staged a tremendous fightback to beat five-time World champion Lin Dan of China 18-21, 21-17, 21-16 and enter the men’s singles quarter-finals at the Denmark Open on Thursday night.
The World No 6 ranked Indian ace will meet compatriot Sameer Verma on Friday.
Srikanth, the defending champion, was caught on the wrong foot in the first game as the Chinese raced to an early lead. The top-ranked India star, however, gradually found his rhythm and matched Dan for a while.
But Dan managed to stay ahead in a tight finish to take the first game 21-18.
The second game saw Kidambi jump to a 5-1 lead in the early going. But Dan fought his way back into the match – engaging Srikanth in long rallies. They went into the break at 11-8. After the break, Dan made it 12-11 before four straight points gave the Indian a vital 16-11 lead and some breathing space. He eventually took the second game 21-17 to set the tone for the decider.
In the decider, Srikanth finally found his rhythm even as Dan seemed to run out of steam. He picked up an early lead – going into the mid-game break at 11-5. And then kept the advantage to take the game 21-16.