Hong Kong Open Semifinal: Kidambi Srikanth loses to Cheuk Yiu Lee- As it happened

Hong Kong Open 2019: Kidambi Srikanth squandered seven games points in game two to go down 9-21, 25-23 to Hong Kong's Cheuk Yiu Lee in the semifinals.

Kidambi Srikanth progressed to the semifinal after Chen Long's withdrawal at the end of the first game.   -  REUTERS

Welcome to the highlights  of the men's singles semifinal of the Hong Kong Open 2019 match between Kidambi Srikanth and Cheuk Yiu Lee. This was Shivansh Gupta be keeping you company through the game.

 

That's all for now, thank you so much for joining us. I will be back with the ATP Finals semifinal live blog between Roger Federer and Stefanos Tsitsipas at 7:30 pm. See you there.

With this victory, Cheuk Yiu Lee levels their head-to-count at one apiece. Brilliant display from the local shuttler. His forehand, overhead drop shots were inch-perfect almost every time and he mixed it up well with flat returns and jump smashes.

Kidambi Srikanth will be mighty disappointed with himself. He was up 20-15 and squandered five game points. He then had two more opportunities but kudos to Lee's mental strength, who bailed himself out of trouble and used the most of his second match point to take the match in 42 minutes.

SCORES READ [Srikanth- Yiu Lee]

23-25: LEE SAVES SEVEN GAME POINTS AND HE IS INTO THE MEN'S SINGLES FINAL! What an commendable comeback from Lee. Brilliant display of grit to get past Kidambi Srikanth, who played really well in the second game.

23-24: MATCH POINT NO.2. Lee with a lovely jump smash to Srikanth's backhand.

22-23: MATCH POINT NO.1 FOR LEE and he hits it into the net! It looked like at one point that it was it, but Lee smashes one into the net. We go on!

22-22: GAME POINT NO. 7 SAVED! Oh, boy! Lee bails himself out once again with an inch-perfect cross-court drop shot.

22-21: IT'S ALL HAPPENING HERE! Srikanth's return was high and Lee though it was long. He left it and then realized it is inbounds. But was too late.

21-21: IT'S LONG AS GAME POINT 6 IS SQUANDERED! The nerves seem to be getting the better of Srikanth here.

21-20: GAME POINT NO. 6 FOR SRIKANTH? Can he close out the game now? Lee's disguise overhead dropshot, this time, is rammed into the net.

20-20 UNBELIEVABLE! SCORES LEVEL AND 5 GAME POINTS SAVED! Srikanth hits another one into the net.

20-19: MAKE THAT FOUR! WHAT AN OUTSTANDING EFFORT FROM LEE! Srikanth's overhead forehand cross-court return falls wide.

20-18: Game point no.3 saved! What a disguise cross-court drop shot from the baseline by Yui Lee. Completely outsmarts Srikanth there.

20-17: Another unforced error as Lee saves game point number 2. Srikanth's return falls long.

20-16: He will have to wait as his overhead smash fails to cross over.

19-15: TWO POINTS AWAY NOW as Lee hits it into the net.

18-15: GIFT TO LEE: Srikanth has played the second game really well by getting a hold on his unforced errors. But on this occasion, he hits the shuttle long.

18-14: THREE POINTS FROM TAKING THE GAME! Lee's forehand return at the net is hit right into the net.

17-14: Two points for the Indian! Forcing an error at the net from Lee, before making one himself. Lee reduces the gap to three with an overhead jump smash to Srikanth's forehand.

15-12: ERROR IN JUDGEMENT AND POINT TO LEE! After a quick exchange at the net, Lee hits a flat forehand down the line return. The shuttle was in Srikanth's reach with the backhand, but he decides to leave it. The shuttle falls inside.

15-10: DEFENCE BREACHED ONCE AGAIN! Lee does well to fend off a flurry of jump smashes from the India, but fails to return the last one over the line.

13-9: Point for the Indian! Lee, deep from the baseline, tries the overhead, jump dropshot but the shuttle is hit into the net. Lee slips and is limping, but he is fiNe.

12-8: Srikanth is showing glimpses of his attacking prowess! Wonderful smash to bag the first point after the towel break.

11-8: THAT'S PERFECTION FROM SRIKANTH ! What a backhand cross-court drop from the Indian. There is enough pace and weight on the shuttle as it clips the top of the net and falls across.

9-8: Once again, Lee targets Srikanth's backhand as he forces him back and forcing him to fetch. Srikanth somehow manages to send the shuttle across before Lee takes the point with a lovely smash.

8-7: Easy pickings! Srikanth is outdone by Lee's return and the Indian had stretch for it to return it. But the shuttle was right in Lee's striking zone, who finished it off with a simple smash.

6-6: LONGEST RALLY AND SCORES LEVEL! Lee was in command of that rally, drawing Srikanth forward and then pushing him back. Mixed it up really well and then forced an error from his opponent with a flat, quick return. Srikanth had to reach to his right for it, but could only hit it into the net.

6-5: This time, Lee gets past Srikanth's forehand defence with a powerful forehand down the line smash. He follows it up with a forehands cross-court smash. Overhead, inside out and Srikanth's backhand had no answers.

6-3: SERVICE ERROR FROM LEE: Backhand short serve rams into the net.

5-2: CHEEKY! Srikanth was beginning to backtrack after his service, but Lee outdoes the Indian with a drop on the serve. What a point!

5-1: Return falls long from Lee.

4-1: Good start this from the Indian. Breaches Lee's defence with another smash. It was well directed, very close to his body.

3-1: Srikanth with a slender lead after the first three points. In the fourth point, Lee fails to return the jump smash from Srikanth over the net with his backhand.

Srikanth will be mighty disappointed himself. He has gifted so many points to his opponent, who took just 14 minutes to close out game 1.

9-21: GAME 1 TO CHEUK YIU LEE!

9-20: Game point for Lee! And a rare error on the day from the local boy. Forehand return into the net.

8-19: Two more unforced errors from Srikanth: He's just gifting points to the oppenent. His returns have traveled either long or fallen wide and he has barely made Lee work for his points.

8-17: Backhand return falls wide. Srikanth gifts another point. Lee follows it up with a cunning dummy smash as he plays a drop shot cross-court.

7-15: FIERCE SMASH: Lee pounces onto the return and bags the with a jump smash.

7-14: Lee with two consecutive points. A good rally where Srikanth had the upper hand. He made Lee travel back and forth, but wasted the opportunity by hitting the shuttle long.

7-12: LONG FROM LEE: The shuttle falls outside the baseline and fourth point of this passage of play for the Indian.

6-12: As I write that, he makes yet another error. This time at the net as his drop fails to go over.

6-11: Srikanth is slowly clawing his way into the game.

4-11: THAT'S MORE LIKE SRIKANTH: Takes advantage of a poor, loopy return from Lee, and he latches on to the one with a fierce forehand cross-court smash. Lee's backhand had no answers as he couldn't even get to the shuttle.

3-11: First towel break: Srikanth hasn't started well at all. Forehand down the line return from the world no.13 is long. The original decision was in, but Lee reviews it and it's a successful one. Point to the local boy.

3-10: Srikanth's third point of the match. Lee's overhead return travels long and falls out of bounds.

1-9: Make that two in a row: After Srikanth returns a body smash from Lee across the net, the latter's deft drop shot to Srikanth's left wins him the point.

1-8: WHAT A BEAUTY FROM YIU LEE: An overhead drop shot down the line and Srikanth's tall legs couldn't het him there.

1-7: Srikanth's down the line smash, once again, falls way outside the legal territory.

1-6: Yiu Lee is making the most of Srikanth's unforced errors. The Indian's backhand cross-court drop shot falls wide.

1-5: Two jump smashes from Srikanth, but the second one is rammed in the net.

1-4: First point of the match for Srikanth.

0-2: This time, Srikanth's down the line smash lands just outside the court.

0-1: The first point of the match goes to Yiu Lee as Srikanth's cross-court smash falls wide of the right-side line.

Srikanth to serve first.

The players are done with warm-up and we are ready to get going!

The two players have walked out to the court.

PREVIEW:

The 26-year-old shuttler has reached his first semifinal after eight months, since March 2019.

With continuous injuries harming the Indian shuttler's progress this year, it is safe to say he has been quite lucky to get this far in Hong Kong. (Road to semis below).

Srikanth last won a BWF Tour title in 2017 and since Asia Badminton Championships in April, he hasn't been able to get past round three in any tournament until Friday.

 

HEAD TO HEAD:

The two players have only met once on the World Tour so far.

Srikanth leads the H2H count 1-0 as he defeated Yui Lee 21-17, 21-18 on January 31, 2018 at the 2018 India Open.

 

 

World no. 13 Kidambi Srikanth's road to Hong Kong Open semifinal:

Round of 32: Victory via walkover as world no.1 Kento Momota from Japan did not appear.

Round of 16: He defeated compatriot Sourabh Verma 21-11, 15-21, 21-19 in 59 minutes.

Quarterfinal: He defeated world no. 4 Chen Long 21-13 as the Chinese shuttler retired after the first game.

 

 

Cheuk Yiu Lee's, world no. 27, road to the semifinal:

The Hong Kong shuttler has is yet to drop a single game in his home tournament.

Round of 32: He defeated world no.22 Sitthikom Thammasin from Thaliand 21-14, 21-16 in 45 minutes.

Round of 16: He defeated world no. 7 Shi Yuqi from China 21-9, 26-24 in 35 minutes.

Quarterfinal: He defeated world no.5 Victor Axelsen from Denmark 21-14, 21-19 in just 38 minutes.