Kidambi Srikanth progresses to the Denmark Open quarter-finals

The Indian badminton player started the match slow but soon picked up the pace to outplay his Canadian opponent to beat him in straight games.

By Utathya Nag ·

India’s Kidambi Srikanth beat Canadian shuttler Jason Anthony Ho-Shue 21-15, 21-14 at Odense on Thursday to seal his spot in the Denmark Open 2020 singles quarter-finals.

Srikanth, the fifth seed at the BWF Super 750 tournament and a former champion in the event in 2017, will next face Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen - the second seed - in the quarter-final.

Up against the 22-year-old Canadian, who knocked out another Indian shuttler Subhankar Dey in the first round, Srikanth made a tentative start but soon picked up the pace, troubling Ho-Shue with his signature cross court smashes.

The Indian took an 11-8 lead into the first mid-game interval of the match. After the restart, Srikanth only seemed to grow in confidence, bringing a lot more variation into his game by utilising his drop shots and aggressive block shots to good effect and bagged the first game 21-15.

The second game saw Ho-Shue put up a much tougher fight, engaging Srikanth in longer rallies and forcing a few errors out of the Indian. The former world No. 1, though, made use of his experience to recover and took a three-point advantage into the mid-game break of the second game.

After the restart, Srikanth upped his pace and comfortably wrapped up the second game by a 21-14 margin, consequently winning the match in straight games.

"It was close until 11 in both games," Srikanth said afterwards. "I'm just happy that I could continue that form throughout the match. I had to be alert to get back his shots."

Srikanth had earlier beaten England’s Toby Penty to set up the second round clash against Ho-Shue.

Lakshya Sen squanders lead to crash out of Denmark Open

Srikanth’s compatriot Lakshya Sen, however, failed to earn a spot in the final eight after going down to Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus 21-15, 7-21, 17-21 in his second round fixture.

In what turned out to be an intriguing start to the contest, the two players went toe-to-toe, trading smashes, drop shots and long rallies before the first mid-game break of the match was signaled with Vittinghus leading by a solitary point.

The trend continued after the restart with both players fighting tooth and nail for every point. At 15-15, however, Sen upped the ante and picked up six consecutive points to settle the first game 21-15.

In the second game, the Dane turned the contest on its head and won it 21-7 to force a decider.

With the momentum firmly in his favour, Vittinghus continued pushing Sen on the backfoot in the third game and built up a 7-1 lead. To his credit, Lakshya didn’t let his shoulders drop under the pressure, and continued to work hard.

The 19-year-old managed to reduce the deficit to just two going into the mid-game break. With fatigue of the long match setting in, both players started making mistakes and the home stretch turned out to be a battle of attrition.

It was Vittinghus, however, who came out on top in the deciding game by a 21-17 scoreline.

"I started well, but then I made a lot of mistakes," Lakshya Sen summed up his match. "I was making mistakes on the first or second stroke and lost control, and gave away a big lead in the second game."