In a battle of former world No 1s, India’s Kidambi Srikanth was knocked out by South Korea’s Son Wan Ho in the men’s singles quarter-final of the Syed Modi International badminton tournament in Lucknow on Friday.
Srikanth’s hopes of ending a long-wait for a title on the BWF World Tour continued Son knocked out the Indian shuttler 21-18, 21-19 in the quarter-final that lasted 45 minutes.
With the semi-finals scheduled on Saturday, Sourabh Verma and Rituparna Das were the only two Indian shuttlers left in contention at the Super 300 tournament.
Srikanth, the third seed at the tournament, was one of the favourites to go the distance (especially with top seed Shi Yuqi’s elimination in the opening round) but the seventh seed from South Korea had other ideas.
Son, who rose to the very top of the game a couple of seasons back and has a reputation for playing an error-free game, was at his clinical best while Srikanth blew hot and cold. There were flashes of brilliance from Srikanth – like when he fought back from 7-13 down in the second game to make it 18-18 – but once again, he was left ruing too many costly errors.
Earlier, Sourabh made sure there will be at least one men’s singles shuttler in the semi-finals as he defeated the three-time world junior champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn 21-19, 21-16. The Thai shuttler had outplayed B Sai Praneeth in the previous round. Sourabh will take on South Korea’s Heo Kwang Hee in the final four. The 2018 national champion has two BWF Super 100 titles to his name this season with victories in Hyderabad and Vietnam.
In the women’s singles, India were guaranteed a slot in the semi-finals. In an all-Indian quarter-final, Rituparna Das overcame Shruti Mundada in a thriller. The 165th-ranked Das had to come from behind to win 24-26, 21-10, 21-19 in a 53-minute match. She will face Phittayaporn Chaiwan from Thailand (ranked 40) in the semi-final.
In women’s doubles, Germany’s Linda Efler and Isabel Hettrich beat Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker 21-7, 21-16. Kuhoo Garg and Anoushka Parikh’s run also came to an end in the quarters as they lost to Wing Yung Ng and Nga Ting Yeung 15-21, 9-21.