Kidambi Srikanth, Lakshya Sen reach the semifinals with tough victories

Indian Kidambi Srikanth defeated third-seeded NG Ka Long Angus on Friday in a tough match to advance to the semifinals of the Hylo Open Super 500 badminton tournament in Saarbrucken, Germany. Lakshya Sen joined him in the final four after an exciting three-game victory against renowned enemy Kunlavut Vitidsarna.

The Indian young man starts and ends vigorously to win in the seesaw 21-18, 12-21, 21-19 which lasted almost 80 minutes.

Sixth seed Srikanth defeated multiplayer Hong Kong 21-11, 12-21, 21-19 in the men’s singles quarterfinals that lasted an hour and four minutes.

Srikanth, who is in 15th place, barely sweated in the first game, leading 1-0. However, the Indian lost momentum in the second game because the ninth Angus equalized the situation.

Both players dominated the game, but fought decisively evenly.

In the end, Srikanth had five match balls to make a deal, but the former world number one gambled four before winning.

Srikanth equaled the record in the match against Angus with a victory. Both shuttles now have three wins against each other.

As for the 20-year-old Sen, who won five titles in 2019, he had a decent appearance at the Denmark Open and the French Open with the second round and quarterfinals, respectively.

The shuttleman from Almore was forced to give up the competition last year after his father and coach DK Sen tested positive for COVID-19.

Sen entered the match with a score of 2-3 and fought for an hour and 18 minutes against Vitidsarna, who is 24th in the world.

The Indian took an 8-3 lead in an instant and led 11-8 to the break. The Thai shuttleer tried to reverse the situation, but Lakshya was always ahead and comfortably tidied up the first game.

Sen also started well in the second game, leading 8-5, but Vitidsarn managed to snatch a two-point advantage in the interval and kept his nose forward to thunder back.

A narrow-minded fight with a duo who fought tooth and nail was decisive. If Lakhsya led 9-6, Vitidsarn caught up 11-11 after the break and stayed close to 13-14.

The Indian soon grabbed five match balls, but Vitidsarn made it harder for Lakshyi, scoring four consecutive points. Lakshya, however, remained calm to end up on the winning side.

Srikanth will play in the semifinals against Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia, while Sen will play against Loh Kean Yew.

(With PTI inputs)

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