Hylo Open: Srikanth, Lakshya cruise to semifinal

Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth showed great determination to outwit NG Ka Long Angus in a hard fought match and cruise into the semifinal of the Hylo Open Super 500 badminton on Friday.

Kidambi Srikanth defeated NG Ka Long Angus in a hard fought match and cruise into the semifinal of the Hylo Open Super 500 badminton on Friday.   -  AFP

Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth showed great determination to outwit NG Ka Long Angus in a hard-fought match and cruise into the semifinal of the Hylo Open Super 500 badminton here on Friday.

The sixth seed Srikanth subdued the higher-ranked Hong Kong shuttler 21-11, 12-21, 21-19 in a men's singles quarterfinal that lasted one hour four minutes.

Srikanth, ranked 15, hardly broke a sweat in the first game, taking a 1-0 lead.

However, Indian lost momentum in the second game as the world no nine Angus levelled the proceedings.

Both players dominated a game each, but the decider was fought on an even keel.

In the end, Srikanth had five match points to seal the deal, but the former world number one squandered four before eking out a narrow win.

With the win, Srikanth levelled the head to head record against Angus. Both shuttlers now have three wins each against each other.

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Srikanth will take on Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia in the semifinals.

On the other hand, Lakshya Sen of India also won a closely fought match against Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn 21-18, 12-21, 21-19 to enter the semifinals.

Lakshya, a 2019 champion, will face Singapore's Loh Kean Yew in the semifinals.

The 20-year-old, who had claimed five titles in 2019, had a decent outing at the Denmark Open and French Open with the second round and quarterfinal finishes respectively.

The shuttler from Almora was forced to pull out of the event last year after his father and coach DK Sen had tested positive for COVID-19.

Lakshya came into the match with a 2-3 head-to-head record and battled for an hour and 18 minutes against Vitidsarn, who is ranked 24th in the world.

The Indian ran up a lead of 8-3 in a jiffy and led 11-8 at the break. The Thai shuttler tried to turn the tables, but Lakshya was always ahead and comfortably pocketed the first game.

Lakhsya also made a good start to the second game, leading 8-5, but Vitidsarn managed to grab a two-point advantage at the interval and kept his nose ahead to make a roaring comeback.

The decider was a closely fought battle with the duo fighting tooth and nail. If Lakhsya was up 9-6, Vitidsarn caught up at 11-11 after the break and stayed close till 13-14.

The Indian soon grabbed five match points but Vitidsarn made things difficult for Lakshya, reeling off four straight points. Lakshya, however, kept his cool to end on the winning side.

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