Indian shuttlers bow out of Korea Masters

Srikanth Kidambi and Sameer Verma lost their matches in the second round of the competition.

By Saurabh Shankar ·

It is the end of the road for India at the Gwangju Korea Masters Super 300 as both of its remaining participants Srikanth Kidambi and Sameer Verma slumped to straight-game defeats. Most of India’s shuttlers now return to home soil with the Syed Modi International Badminton Championships scheduled to begin next week.

Srikanth falters

26-year-old Srikanth Kidambi had breezed through his first-round tie at the Korea Masters against Wong Wing Ki Vincent of Hong Kong and was expected to continue that fine run when he was matched up against Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan for his next match. 

Kidambi started off brilliantly against the Japanese shuttler, running away into a 5-1 lead in the first game. The Indian though could not keep that run going as he allowed his opponent back into the game, with Tsuneyama leading by a point at the interval stage. 

Post-interval, it was Tsuneyama who started off brightly claiming six points on the trot to extend his lead. Kidambi never really recovered and instead, fell behind losing the first game 14-21.

The second game was much more evenly contested as neither shuttler could really consolidate their serves. The score read 11-9 in favour of the Japanese at the interval who, like the first game, pulled away post the break. 

Tsuneyama always seemed to have a knack for picking up points at crucial junctures maintaining an upper hand in the tie. To his credit, Kidambi wasn’t going down too easily as he kept mounting comebacks in a bid to try and salvage the match. The scoreline read 18-17 at one point with Kidambi hot on the heels of his opponent, but ultimately his efforts ended in vain as the Japanese shuttler claimed the match 21-14, 21-19.

Srikanth Kidambi bowed out of the 2019 Korea Masters after losing in straight games against Kanta Tsuneyama

Double whammy  

There was further disappointment for India’s shuttlers as Sameer Verma also bowed out of the competition, losing his tie 19-21, 12-21 to South Korea’s Kim DongHun. Like Kidambi, Verma also had led 9-6 during the first game but squandered his chances to allow his opponent to get back in the match. 

DongHun ultimately won a closely contested first game 21-19 to inch closer to a quarterfinals place in his home tournament. The second game was also neck and neck till the interval with little separating the two shuttlers. 

In the second half of the second game though, DongHun came out all guns blazing as he claimed his points in quick succession. Verma could pick only two points post-interval as the South Korean cruised to a comfortable 21-12 victory to set up a clash against Kanta Tsuneyama in the next round.