Hong Kong Open 2018: Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma lose in quarter-finals 

Kidambi Srikanth
Kidambi Srikanth

The Indian challenge ended as Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma were knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Super 500 tournament being played at Kowloon, Hong Kong on Friday.

Kidambi Srikanth lost to Japan's Kento Nishimoto in straight games. The first game began on a positive note with Kidambi Srikanth taking an early 3-1 lead. The Japanese played aggressive badminton putting pressure on the Indian. At the interval, Kento Nishimoto led 11-7. After the interval, Kidambi Srikanth made a brilliant comeback to reduce the gap and then levelled the score at 15-15. The Japanese showed his class and won the first game 21-17.

In the second game, Nishimoto played aggressive badminton, not allowing Kidambi Srikanth to play his natural game. At the interval, the Japanese had a commanding 11-3 lead. After the interval, Nishimoto continued to put pressure on the Indian and won the second game and the match 21-17, 21-13 to move into the semi-finals.

Sameer Verma lost to qualifier Lee Cheuk Yiu in three gruelling games. In the first game, the Hong Kong player had a brilliant start to the game, taking an early 4-0 lead and continued to play aggressive badminton. At the interval, Lee led 11-3. After the interval, Sameer Verma made a strong comeback into the game with 15-16 in favour of Lee. The Hong Kong shuttler took 5 points in succession to win the first game 21-15.

The second game started on a positive note for Lee who had an 8-5 lead. It was a strong comeback by Sameer Verma who played aggressive badminton and led 11-10 at the interval. After the interval, the Indian continued to show his class and led 20-16. Sameer Verma won the second game 21-19 to force the match into a decider.

In the deciding game, both Sameer Verma and Lee Cheuk Yiu took alternate points till 5-5. The qualifier from Hong Kong then played aggressive badminton to take 11-6 at the interval. After the interval, Lee made life tough for Sameer Verma to win the third and deciding game 21-11 to move into his maiden semi-finals.

With this loss, the Indian challenge at the Hong Kong Open ended. Now with 2 more events to go, only PV Sindhu is in the fray to qualify for the World Tour Finals.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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