On Thursday, PV Sindhu crashed out of the Hong Kong Open after losing to Hyun Ji Sung of South Korea by 24-26, 20-22 in an hour-long match.
But other Indian ace shuttlers, Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma have kept India’s hopes flying high at the tournament that is being played at Kowloon, Hong Kong. Both shuttlers have made it to the quarterfinals.
With Sindhu’s exit, India’s women’s singles contingency in the tournament has ended. Saina Nehwal already made an exit by losing her first round match.
For fourth-seeded Kidambi, it was not an easy hand task to get into the quarterfinals. The fellow Indian HS Prannoy played equally well and it was a thrilling match that ended with Kidambi emerging as a winner by 18-21, 30-29, and 21-18. The thrilling match lasted for one hour and seven minutes.
The match between Srikanth and Prannoy was a very close contest and both the players gave their best shot till the end moment of the game.
Prannoy made a neck-to-neck fight with Kidambi. Prannoy had earlier out crashed Kidambi in the Senior National Final by 14-10.
That game was also a pulsating contest right from the opening. The second game moved to a cliffhanger as the duo didn’t give away easily. With Prannoy taking the lead, Srikanth always came back with huge smashes and points.
Ultimately, after Srikanth drew parity at 16-16 and moved to 19-17., Prannoy hit back and made the winning points for himself.
Srikanth Kidambi in his next game will now face Kenta Nishimoto from Japan or Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen.
It was a lucky day for Sameer Verma, who automatically qualified for the quarterfinals after his opponent Chen Long quit from the competition due to his injury.
Now Sameer will face either Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus or Lee Cheuk Yiu on Friday.
However, India’s mixed doubles Satwiksairaj Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa lost to Chinese Taipei’s Lee Yang and Hsu Ya Ching by 17-21, 11-21.
In another disappointment, B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri also lost the second round match to Chinese Taipei duo Jhe-Huei Lee and Yang Lee 16-21 15-21.
After that, there was nothing to separate the two as both kept taking points alternatively before Srikanth managed to grab the upper limit of 30 points first to pocket the game and roar back into the contest.
In the decider, Srikanth continued his momentum surging to an 11-4 lead at the interval. Prannoy caught up at 16-16 before Srikanth again moved ahead to seal the contest.