Kidambi Srikanth remained in the hunt for a second title at the Denmark Open while rising star Lakshya Sen went down fighting on a day of mixed fortunes for India in Odense. The 2017 champion dismissed the challenge of world number 49 Jason Anthony Ho-Shue 21-15, 21-14 in 33 minutes to enter the quarter-finals.
In a later match, former junior Asian champion Lakshya Sen made a bright start against former world number 8 Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus but failed to complete the win. In a 55-minute battle, the 19-year-old Indian bowed out 21-15, 7-21, 17-21.
Kidambi Srikanth continues his bright start at the Denmark Open
Kidambi Srikanth polished up his performance after showing some tentative play in the second game of his first-round match against Toby Penty. Despite a few unforced errors in between, it was otherwise a highly satisfactory display from the former world number one who moved well, attacked well and varied the pace of the shuttle to take control of the match.
The fifth-seeded Kidambi Srikanth stuck to his game plan against Penty. He kept his opponent moving around the court before sensing the opportunities to slam down his power-packed smashes. The tactic worked beautifully as the Indian opened up a 17-9 lead before pocketing the first game 21-15.
A couple of unforced errors briefly halted his momentum in the early stages of the second game as the Canadian went up 7-5. But Srikanth was soon back in control. With more patience, he cut down his errors and inched ahead 9-8.
With his aggressive game doing the talking, Kidambi Srikanth led 17-11 before reaching eight match points. The Canadian saved a couple only to send the shuttle long on the third to give Srikanth the victory.
Kidambi Srikanth will next face the second seed Chou Tien Chen in his quest for a semi-final spot.
Lakshya Sen goes down in three games
Lakshya Sen made a confident start against the former Australian Open champion Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus after having lost to the Danish veteran at the Malaysia Masters earlier in the year.
Sen's firepower and fabulous footwork on the court kept him level with Vittinghus till 14-14 before the Indian teenager made his big move and sealed the first game 21-15, winning nine of the final ten points.
However, that effort seemed to drain him out as Sen hardly had any energy to compete in the second game, conceding it 7-21.
In the decider, it did look like Sen recovered his fighting spirit as he trailed the Dane by just one point at 13-14. Despite his best efforts, however, the superior experience of his opponent mattered in the end as the hard-fought game went Vittinghus' way.