Kidambi Srikanth in first-round exit at Indonesia Masters

This is the Indian shuttler’s second first-round exit in a big-ticket tournament in 2020.

By Subhayan Dutta ·

India’s badminton contingent endured a difficult start to their Indonesia Masters campaign with Kidambi Srikanth and Sourabh Verma losing their respective matches in the first round on the second day of the tournament.

While Kidambi Srikanth went down 21-18, 12-21, 14-21 against Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito, Sourabh Verma was eliminated by China’s Lu Guang Zu 21-17, 15-21, 10-21.

Kidambi Srikanth goes down after strong start

The former world number one's struggles with form continue as Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito came back from one set down to win the opening round of the Indonesia Masters on Wednesday at Jakarta’s Istora Senayan.

After seeing an early exit in the Malaysia Masters, Srikanth started well this time before losing his pace in the latter stages and won the first game narrowly 21-18.

Rhustavito got some wind under his wings early in the second game when he led 5-1 and maintained his lead for the better part of the game. He levelled the match by winning six consecutive points from 15-12 to end it 21-12.

Kidambi Srikanth remained the second-best throughout the third game, which was the decider. Trailing 6-11 at the break, he allowed Rhustavito to take five consecutive points thereafter to make the scoreline 16-7 in the Indonesian’s favour. From thereon, it was just a matter of time as Rhustavito sealed the match 18-21, 21-12, 21-14 in one hour and three minutes.

Sourabh Verma suffers similar fate

The second men’s singles match of the day saw Sourabh Verma taking on China’s Lu Guang Zu. Like Kidambi Srikanth, Sourabh Verma too started brightly winning six consecutive points early on to lead 6-2, and he pretty much maintained it throughout the game. After leading 11-7 at the break, he went on to win the game 21-17.

The Chinese shuttler came back in the second game, though, and won seven consecutive points to lead 7-2 in the initial stages, a lead that Sourabh Verma couldn’t reduce throughout the game. Lu entered the break at 11-7 before finishing the game 21-15.

The decider was hardly competitive with Sourabh Verma mellowing down with every passing minute. Lu was allowed to take as many as seven consecutive points to lead 11-3 at the break before the Chinese wrapped up the match 17-21, 21-15, 21-10 in less than an hour.

Apart from them, the mixed doubles duo of N Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra was also ousted by South Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun and Eom Hye Won 8-21, 14-21.