Kidambi Srikanth exits, Lin Dan & Chen Long advance at badminton worlds

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Chen Long stays steady at the 2017 World Championships. (photo: AP)
Chen Long stays steady at the 2017 World Championships. (photo: AP)

Glasgow: If you bet on a Kidambi Srikanth of India who won Indonesia and Australian Open in two consecutive weeks in June to make a deep run in Glasgow, you might be disappointed as he became the latest of the high seeds in the men’s draw to tumble out of the World Championships on Friday.

Srikanth who defeated World No. 1 Son Wan-Ho of Korea twice in a mere five days during their encounters at Indonesia and Australian Open, nonetheless, was having a tough time against the World No. 1 Korean in the quarter-finals. Srikanth was no match for the formidable Son in the first set, losing 14-21. Although Srikanth clawed back from a 5-16 deficit to close the gap at 12-16, Son regained the momentum and snatched the break back to finish off his rival in the second set with 21-18.

Son will play five-time winner and No. 7 seed Lin Dan in the semi-finals. After two days of playing in 3-setters, Lin Dan had an easier passage into the semi-finals by outlasted Vincent Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong 21-17, 21-18 in 59 minutes.

Meanwhile, men’s singles defending champion Chen Long appeared to be back to his Olympic form when he scored his fourth straight-set victory, beating compatriot and No. 10 seed Tian Houwei 21-12, 21-17 in 64 minutes. Chen will take on Viktor Axelsen of Denmark on Saturday.

In men’s doubles, the flamboyant Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Fernaldi Gideon of Indonesia who won three consecutive Superseries title earlier this year, wasted one match point in the decider, allowing Chai Biao/Hong Wei of China to claw back to beat the No. 3 seeds Indonesians 11-21, 21-19, 22-20 in a pulsating quarter-finals.

Chai Biao/Hong Wei will play compatriots No. 8 seeds Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan in the semi-finals. Liu/Zhang saved a matched point to upset No. 2 seeds Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen 20-22, 21-11, 22-20 in the quarter-finals, while Mohammad Ahsan/Rian Agung Saputro will take on No. 4 seeds Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda in other men’s semi-finals.

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