Kidambi Srikanth beats Lin Dan to enter Denmark Open quarters

Kidambi Srikanth beat Chinese great Lin Dan 18-21, 21-17, 21-16 in the second round of the Denmark Open to set up a quarterfinal clash with fellow countryman Sameer Verma.

Srikanth will now face off against India's Sameer Verma in the quarterfinal on Friday.   -  Getty Images

Kidambi Srikanth overcame former World No.1 Lin Dan 18-21, 21-17, 21-16 in the second round of the Denmark Open to enter men's singles quarterfinals on Thursday. The 25-year old lost the first game after the two-time Olympic champion took an early lead, but maintained superiority in the second and third games to keep his title defence alive.

Lin Dan raced into an early 10-4 lead in the first game with Srikanth looking a bit rusty with his net game. But Srikanth clawed back into the game winning four consecutive points to make it 11-13. The early lead worked in Lin Dan's favour who took the game 18-21.

Read: As it Happened

The second game proved that Srikanth is no longer the player who lost to Dan in the Rio 2016 quarterfinals, as the World No. 6 maintained the pressure on his opponent after taking a 5-1 lead. It seemed Dan would level things at 11-10 but Srikanth won four consecutive points to make 16-11. Subsequently, the defending champion took the second game 21-17.

Srikanth started the third set in an aggressive fashion taking a 8-2 lead, but Lin Dan won three consecutive points to reduce the gap. But Srikanth won three points in a row to make it 10-5. Lin Dan, who is in the twilight of his illustrious career, fought back with two points at the end to make it 20-16. But Srikanth took the match with a cross-court smash.

Srikanth will face fellow countryman Sameer Verma in the quarterfinal on Friday.