Malaysia Open: Srikanth, Sindhu bow out in semis

The Indian singles challenge closes after contrasting defeats of K. Srikanth and P. V. Sindhu.

K. Srikanth was defeated by Kento Momota in a 42-minute battle.   -  Getty Images

K. Srikanth bowed out of the Malaysia Open in the semifinals with a 21-13, 21-13 loss to Kento Momota in the semifinals. P. V. Sindhu put up a better fight in her semifinal contest against No. 1 seed Tai Tzu Ying, but lost in three games — 21-15, 19-21, 21-11.

Srikanth was unable to match the overall superior game of Momota, who has been in sensational form since making a comeback from a one-year ban for illegal gambling. The World No. 11 Japanese disposed of his opponent in 42 minutes.

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Momota was quick on his feet and produced some excellent shots mixed with deception, to dominate the rallies. His smashes had power and precision to make life difficult for Srikanth. Momota rode on his deception and better court coverage to open up a 10-7 lead in the first game. Srikanth won a good rally but the Japanese had his nose ahead at the break when Srikanth was bamboozled by a tight net shot.

One-sided

The left-handed Japanese produced some superb shots from the back of the court to move to a 13-8 lead. He dominating further, carving up a 17-12 lead. Srikanth misjudged a shot at the back line to hand over game points to Momota, who sealed the game with another precise net shot.

With Momota in full flow, the margin for error was miniscule and the Japanese pounced on every opportunity to lead 5-1 after the change of sides. Srikanth built the rallies well but often erred with the length and miscued strokes as Momota moved into the breather at 11-5. Momota quickly moved to seven match points when Srikanth found the net.

Another net error handed the contest to Momota.

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